Oh, Right, I Have A Blog

When last we spoke, I informed you of the exciting news that NASA is planning its first voyage to Mars. That’s still true, which is good. I also saw The Martian at the movie theater and liked it very much, which is also good. In fact, I loved the movie whereas I only enjoyed the book. This has everything to do with the fact that I’m an artist rather than an engineer and I tend to favor soft, squishy subjects like the humanities rather than MATH.

Ahem. Sorry. I may have lapsed into the remnants of a heated discussion about The Martian that evidently I’m not entirely over.

In other news, it’s November and November means NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo means “oh my God, I have so much writing to do, how can I waste it blogging, what the hell am I thinking, I have to get back to WORK!” So, you know, there’s that.

The new book I’m working on is pretty cool, though. At least, think it’s cool. My working title is Dinomancer and it’s a book about people who can ride dinosaurs into battle. I’d tell you the elevator pitch about it, but since I haven’t written it all yet, it’d be somewhat insubstantial. I feel good about it, though, and my girlfriend fiancée says that she hasn’t seen me get this excited about a new project in a long time, so who knows. Maybe this will be the book that makes millions of dollars enough dollars to make a small payment on one of my outstanding student loans.

Also, this is my first winter since I moved to Washington state several months ago. My verdict thus far: seasons are beautiful, I really enjoy the cold weather, I look great in my stylish long raincoat, I hate the fact that it gets dark like at 4pm, and related to the previous bullet point, DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME SUCKS. Arizona may not get a lot of things right (politics, 115 degree summer days, the impending fiery apocalypse drought brought on by global climate change), but they’re the only state in the Union that doesn’t have Daylight Savings Time, and that’s pretty damn good in my opinion.

Anyway. Thanks for stopping by. I’m going to get back to writing about dinos.

We’re Going To Mars!

I actually can’t believe this story is from four days ago and I haven’t heard anyone talking about it yet: NASA recently unveiled its timeline for the (actual) human exploration of Mars. A permenant human presence on the Red Planet! How is that not awesome?

Here’s the basic timeline: It begins with phasing out the Earth Reliant aspect of space travel, which is where we are now. The International Space Station mission will be winding down in the next few years, which is somewhat sad, but the installation is certainly getting old (it was originally launched in 1998!) and ending the ISS mission will free up NASA’s resources to focus on Mars.

After the Earth Reliant phase ends, NASA will transition to the Deep Space, and, quote, “NASA will send a robotic mission to capture and redirect an asteroid to orbit the moon. Astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft will explore the asteroid in the 2020s, returning to Earth with samples.” Redirecting an asteroid is perhaps the most metal thing I’ve read all month.

And finally, in the 2030s, NASA should be ready to send humans to Mars. We’re really going. The Orion program will take us back to the stars. (Well, figuratively speaking; the actual stars are still a long ways away).

I’m excited. This news is exciting to me and not just because, holy shit, The Martian will only be science-fiction for a few more decades (and then it will just be regular fiction). I’m excited that I’ll (hopefully) be around to see the next great achievements in human exploration. I’m excited because this feels like a real investment in spreading human life beyond our planet, a mission which will hopefully provide us with the means to spread to the rest of our solar system. In short, it’s the future that science fiction has been tantalizing us with. We’re finally going there.

A lot could happen, of course. A complete conservative takeover of the government could see NASA’s budget gutted, which would scrub the mission. But my hope is that the desire to explore the stars transcends ideological barriers. Space exploration has produced some of the country’s greatest heroes. What conservative doesn’t respect the sheer bad-ass-itude of the astronauts of the Apollo program? What progressive doesn’t savor the idea of pushing our scientific understanding to a new limit? There’s so much for us to learn out there!

I hope people start talking about this more. I hope folks get excited. Because the technology is within our reach and will only get closer, so long as we maintain the desire and the collective willpower. In 1969, we went to the moon. Let’s do something cool like that again, and let’s do it together.

Personal aside: I am 100% certain that it’s not an accident this announcement was timed to come after the success of The Martian and the announcement of water being discovered on Mars. Space is cool again!

Unrepentant: The Final Chapters (39-41)

This post contains the final chapters for my novel, Unrepentant. For those that have been reading since I started this experiment a few months ago, thank you for your interest in my work. Most of all, I’d like to thank my supporters on Patreon; more than anything, your support and readership has made this an excellent and enjoyable experience.

Thank you for reading.

Continue reading Unrepentant: The Final Chapters (39-41)

Unrepentant: Chapters 35-38

We’re nearing the end! Part 3 begins today and it’s the third and final part of the novel. In this post, you’ll find chapters 35-38. New chapters will be posted every Friday. If you enjoy the book, please consider supporting me via my Patreon account. Thanks!

Continue reading Unrepentant: Chapters 35-38

I Did Not See That Coming (Political Edition)

I’ve been pretty quiet on the subject of politics this year, having burned myself out on the subject back in 2013. It was my prolific year on this blog, but also the most frustrating, in part because I ended up politi-blogging so much that I ended up seeking out content that infuriated me just so I’d have something to write about. That ain’t no way to go through life, son. I also wanted this blog to really focus on fiction more, hence the shift in content.

That said, I’m in a rare mood today and I’d really like to go on the record for just how badly one of my predictions turned out, so here are my thoughts on this bit of news: candidate Scott Walker is going to drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

I didn’t write a post about this (see the previous paragraph about political blogging), but I had opinions and predictions. And when the Republican primary process kicked into gear earlier this year, I predicted Walker would be the eventual nominee.

If we could rewind to a few months ago (circa April 2015), here’s what a slightly younger version of Matt would say:

On the subject of the Republican candidates: It’s going to be Walker vs. Clinton in 2016. He’s an obvious choice: he’s from a Democratic stronghold state (Wisconsin has voted blue in every presidential election since 1984) and his big claim to fame is union-busting, which is abhorrent to me, but it’s the kind of thing that can win broad appeal without alienating too many demographics, especially since blue-collar Republicans vote against their own interests so often. He’s not doing great in the polls right now, but let’s look at his competition and you’ll see why I think he’s going to be the guy (not to mention polls this early are basically worthless anyway; just ask President Cain or President Gingrich).

Walker doesn’t have a last name with a ton of baggage like Bush.

He’s not too religious, which gives him more moderate appeal than Jindal or other religious conservatives, but still seems religious enough to win over the base.

Huckabee might be in the lead right now, but that’ll never last. Ditto Santorum.

Christie is damaged goods after the bridge thing.

Paul and Cruz might be serious contenders, but I think they’ve been on the stage too long and people are tired of them.

Of them all, I’d say Rubio could be the strongest candidate for a general election, but I don’t think the current Republican party can handle someone with his background (i.e. non-whiteness) and relative youth, even though he’d be a great candidate to field against the Democrats, especially if he can peel away Latino voters.

Trump is just this cycle’s Herman Cain. Or this cycle’s Trump. Take your pick.

In short: I predict it’ll be Walker vs. Clinton 2016, in which case “go Hillary!”


Obviously, I was wrong; thoroughly, utterly, completely wrong. Walker is the second drop out after Rick Perry resigned a few weeks ago. He was the guy I’d have bet money on. Keep in mind that he’s not the guy I’d have voted for; I’m not a Republican and even if I was, I’m far too pro-union to like the guy. But he seemed like a solid pick at the time, certainly a more sane choice than Trump (who wasn’t even running at that point and was just doing his Trump thing of talking a lot).

Of course, I’d also predicted that Hillary would basically run unopposed, with Bernie Sanders providing a token opposition in an effort to push her platform in a more left-leaning direction. And maaaybe there would be a Biden run, because why not? And now there are a few polls showing the Bern in the lead? Craziness! At this point, I’ve already been so wrong that I’m just going to throw out all my previous predictions and start making new ones.

So, here goes: you saw it here first, I’m calling it for President Bernie Sanders in 2016. Woo, feel the Bern!

But you might not want to take my word on it; after all, my track record for predictions so far has been pretty terrible.

Unrepentant: Chapter 34

Chapters 34 of my novel Unrepentant, freely available for your enjoyment. New chapters will be posted every Friday. If you enjoy the book, please consider supporting me via my Patreon account. Thanks! Continue reading Unrepentant: Chapter 34

Unrepentant: Chapters 31-33

Chapters 31-33 of my novel Unrepentant, freely available for your enjoyment. New chapters will be posted every Friday. If you enjoy the book, please consider supporting me via my Patreon account. Thanks! Continue reading Unrepentant: Chapters 31-33

Unrepentant: Chapters 23-30

Sorry for the two weeks of missed updates! As a way of keeping up (especially for my Patreon supporters), I’m going to make today’s update twice as large as normal. This post contains Chapters 23-30. Enjoy and sorry for being so lazy for two weeks! Continue reading Unrepentant: Chapters 23-30

Thoughts On Losing Hands In Fiction

What’s this? A post that isn’t a novel update? How . . . novel.

Jenn and I having been going through the Walking Dead on Netflix; first time viewing for her, second time for me until we finish season four. We’re also reading the graphic novels as we finish each season to see how the story is different. I was always spotty on the graphic novels, having read them somewhat out of order and without any completionism before, so I’d forgotten how many things happen on the show that don’t happen in the books.

Spoiler warning for those that haven’t read up through Walking Dead book three of the collection (which I believe is issue #36), as well as several other series (The Dark Tower, Game of Thrones, and Star Wars).

Continue reading Thoughts On Losing Hands In Fiction

Unrepentant: Chapters 21-22

Chapters 21-22 of my novel Unrepentant, freely available for your enjoyment. New chapters will be posted every Friday. If you enjoy the book, please consider supporting me via my Patreon account. Thanks!

Continue reading Unrepentant: Chapters 21-22

Compulsively iconoclastic!


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