Autobiologic


Up The Wolves

Hello! You look nice today. That makes two of us.

Eagle-eyed readers will note the lack of an Instagram filter in the above folder, and remember back when I sung the praises of blurring out the details so that one can better enjoy the whole. Not using filters is a Big Deal for me when it comes to my appearance. It shouldn’t be, but that’s Trans Life in the 21st century for you. So, what changed? Well, 3 months of hormones, mainly.

I’ve also gotten pretty good with eyeliner, but it’s mostly the hormones.

(This feels a bit weird to talk about, but if I was reading this blog, I would want me to talk about it. Plus, I already posted all of this on social media, so it’s not like this is secret info, or anything.)

Three months on hormones and the results have been absolutely magical. I’ve got noticeable breasts, heavier thighs, smoother skin and my body hair growth has slowed. There’s been some subtle changes to my face, where what few edges I had in my round face have been softened to match the rest of it. Also, my nose has shrunk.

All the cartilage in my body has shrunk. My feet are a size and half smaller than they used to be, and I’m an inch shorter.

Of all the changes, that’s thrown me for a loop the most–I’ve been 5’11” with giant feet since I was 13. And it’s not that one inch or a shoe size is really that big a change, just that it changed at all.

I don’t like to think of myself becoming an entirely new person–though I know a lot of trans folk do, and that distinction is something they need. I wanted to think of this as just another step in who I am, like when I started wearing ties all the time. But when there’s physical changes like this, it’s clear that there’s more going on. I look different than I did a year ago. Not a lot, but it’s there. And the changes are only going to get more pronounced.

This is wonderful and exciting and…scary. It feels like one of those fairy tales where you find out the cost of getting your heart’s desire. I’ll finally be the “me” I always wanted to be, but I’ll have to figure out who she is.

And I suppose that should have been obvious, but it only hit me when these clear physical changes started happening. Blame it on being a visual learner, I guess.

I should add, that this level of change so quickly is not an average experience. In fact, I was mentally prepared for things to take a lot longer. Every body reacts to HRT differently. My body is either very comfortable with change–I used to put on muscle very quickly, too–or this is something my body has been wanting for a long time.

Either way, I’m ecstatic that these changes are happening, and I am looking forward to see where they lead.


Speaking of going through changes, there’s been two Frankenstein’s Support Group for Misunderstood Monsters since my last newsletter. Both of them focus on Ginger, a werewolf variation I’ve really been enjoying writing. Click on the tiles below for Chapter 2:



And Chapter 3:


And of course, there’s always Chapter 1, if you need a refresher.

I really love this comic, and if you love it to, spread the word! The more people see the comic, the longer Quirk will have me do it!


We took Wednesday to Target the other day, and came face-to-face with the merchandising juggernaut that is Star Wars paraphernalia. While fans of anything that has “Star” in the title, our house is mostly free of LucasFilm merch, beyond the odd t-shirt, art book and my hand-crafted lightsabers. All that changed when our darling daughter came face to fuzzy face with a porg. Porgs, for those who don’t know, are little aliens indigenous to the planet Luke Skywalker has been hiding out on, and they are industrial-strength cute. Our daughter could not resist. She grabbed a stuffed plush porg off the shelf and didn’t let go.

This is a pretty mean feat, as Wednesday has just learned how to control the “let go” function of her hands. The porg’s desirableness overwhelmed her love of grabbing things only to drop them. The fact that she held onto it for any length of time is a tribute to the designers.

It also does these little chirping sounds when you squeeze it that make her giggle. So of course, we had to get one.

We’re doomed, aren’t we?


The Angel Is In The Details


When I was 11, my parents took me to get my eyes checked. There was nothing noticeably wrong with my vision, but I was at the age my father needed glasses, my mother needed glasses, and my older sister needed glasses. Later, it would be the age my younger brother needed glasses. Biology does not always lead to destiny, but it never hurts to check.

I was shown the standard jumble of letters on the chart on the far wall, and I asked to read as much as I could. In an act that sums up who I am more than I’d like to admit, I read past the point where the eye doctor told me stop, and then apologized for not being able to read the last line.

The verdict was, rather than need glasses, I possessed “better than Perfect Vision,” which is a phrase I’ve always liked. Subsequent checks at the DMV have proven that my better than perfect vision is hanging in there, despite my predilection for reading in very low light, practiced over several decades.

All of this is to say, I often see things others don’t. The proverbial eye for detail.

I’ve been taking a lot of pictures recently. My daily “take a picture of my outfit” photo habit has increased to include multiple pictures of my darling daughter, and of my face. The documentation of Wednesday is obvious: she’s adorable, and has already changed considerably in her first two weeks of life. I’ve noticed. Better than perfect vision, remember. And she’s a better than perfect baby. The angel is in the details.

The need for pictures of my face, however, comes from an entirely different place. My better than perfect eyes see too much. See all the flaws that makeup cannot hide, the tells and giveaways. Despite my efforts to present myself as feminine, I can see the ways I’m falling short. I’ve been doing pretty well for not doing it for very long, but I can see the lengths I still have to go.

Still apologizing for not going far enough, as ever. You’d think I’ve grown out of it by now.

So I need the imperfect lens of the camera, the approximations and half-measures that make up photography. I need to have pictures of myself because I can see too much in the mirror. In the photos, gloriously blurry with digital imperfections, I can see me without worrying about details. It’s remarkably comforting.

It was not uncommon for me crop my face out of my “Today’s Style” photos. Now, I take proper selfies with the best of ’em.


The new Patreon went into full effect last Friday, with the first of the weekly rewards for $2, $5, and $10 backers. There’s a new flash piece, The Ballad of the Eyeball Kid, audio of me reading that flash piece, and the first chapter of my novel-in-progress, The Wish of All Things. If any of those things interest you, you may want to consider becoming a backer.

What’s in store this week? A rumination on supervilliany entitled Voice Victorious–which I am very much looking forward to reading aloud, let me tell you–and a sneak peak at a comic project I’ve been working on. The Patreon’s right here, iffin you want to see ’em.

Don’t wanna be left out, do you?


One more baby picture? How’s about when Wednesday finished her first bath?

Such an angel, am I right?

Good luck with the dragon.


Changing Everything, Because Everything Needs Changing

So. Things have changed.
The biggest change has been this little bundle of joy, my daughter Wednesday. She is, as near as I can tell, the best baby, full of joy and screams and little songs she sings to herself. Or, possibly, to us. Which is very sweet if true.

Which makes me a parent, a mother, simply by virtue of her existing. A big change, 3 now, where there was once 2. But a welcome one.

I love her.



Continuing the theme of everything needing changing, I’ve been updating jaredaxelrod.com, putting in proper pronouns and a new photo. It’s weird thing to do, if I’m honest. It’s either a small thing that feels much more momentous or momentous thing that feels much more small. A change of a few letters. A new photo. Shouldn’t mean as much as it does, but it does.

As @endrift said on Twitter, “A (cis) friend once said “trans is contagious”. I thought about it and realized what’s contagious is the idea that it’s OK to be trans.”

So, here’s me saying it’s okay to be trans, in a conscious effort to live more truthfully. It would be easy to leave the old site up and just say “I’ll change it later,” never meaning to. But if the site is meant to show who I am, then it needed to change. My virtual self needed to keep in step with my meatspace one.

Also, can I just say? I look great in that photo.


Changes have happened over at the Patreon as well. I’ve moved the charges to monthly, rather than “per Voice of Free Planet X episode.” In an effort to give folks more stuff while the podcast is currently in production. There’s now weekly flash fiction, and audio versions of said flash, and selections from whatever I’m working on, depending on your reward level.

So, if you’re looking for fresh Axelrod fiction, that’s the place to find it.



Some new pieces up on Quirk Books. There’s Noteworthy Women In Sci-Fi History, and What If Robert Frost Wrote About Food? One is obviously more silly than the other, as it is about things that rhyme with “ice cream.” But, if you ever wanted to know about the origins of slash-fic, the less silly one may well be worth your time.

Also in the “silly” category: Apes of Wrath, a Steinbeckian take on Planet of the Apes, which I hope lives up the giggles created by the title.

And there’s a return to my favorite monsters with Speaking In Terms At Frankenstein’s Support Group For Misunderstood Monsters. This marks the first appearance of Myriad, the sentient swarm of locusts, Gelatinax, the blob, Lobstar, the unholy melding of lobster and man, and Lord Zynn, extra-dimensional warlord. Will these characters show up again? Who knows?


(Lobstar. Lobstar will show up again.)


A week or so ago was #PitMad, aka “Pitch Madness,” aka “cram a description of your novel into Twitter and see if anyone likes it.” I’ve been trying to find an agent for my novel The Wish Of All Things, so I gave it a shot. I was not prepared for the response:

(note that updated avatar; changing everything)

Needless to say, I was floored by this response. Not all of those likes and retweets were agents, but a hefty percentage were. And even so, to have such a marvelous outcry of support for a measly one-sentence pitch–I didn’t even talk about the dragon!–was wonderful. I’ve gotten some good critique on The Wish Of All Things recently, and with this latest revision its the best its ever been. It’s hard not to send this version out and think “Is this the year everything changes?”

‘Cause, y’know. Everything needs changing.

Good luck with the dragon.


Guidance

I was just informed that Jeff Jeske, my college advisor, passed away. Jeff provided perhaps the only type of guidance I would have accepted at that age: “If that’s what you really want to do, here’s how you go about it.”

I almost didn’t graduate. I had failed a business class senior year, so I was two credits short. Not even a full class. That semester, with the help of a extraordinarily talented group of friends, I had put on a full-length play that I wrote. I’d like to claim that the play was why I failed the business course, but the fact of the matter was that I just couldn’t get into the material. Unlike the play.

I went to Jeff with the news of not being able to graduate, and while we talked about the possibilities of summer classes and the like, I brought out a longshot. Could I have the play, done through a club, count as a 2-credit independent study.

Jeff, to his credit, did not throw the idea out of hand. Instead, he looked a me, shrugged and said, as he always did, “If that’s what you really want to do, here’s how you go about it.”

He told me which forms I needed, how to fill them out, what they should say and who should sign them. And when I saw the dean not two hours later, a fist-full of papers in my hand, there was nothing he could do but sign off on it. My paperwork was ironclad. I graduated.

I usually tell this story as triumph of early-twenties optimism and outside-the-box thinking, and it is. But it couldn’t have had the happy ending it did without Jeff, who took my oddball idea and calmly laid out the way for it work.

I don’t think I’ve ever thanked him properly for all the guidance he’s given me. I don’t think I ever could.


Soft Pretzel Stuffing

It’s that time of year, again. The time of year when everyone asks me about the recipe of my soft pretzel stuffing.

As I was born of southern climes, I have…opinions about the so-called “cuisine” offered by the Northern region of these United States. The concept of soft-pretzel stuffing, however, is a glory I cannot and will not deny. It was first introduced to me at a “Friendsgiving” party, and while the original creator was tight-fisted with the recipe (he has since relented, giving me a list of instructions far too long to replicated, even if they do finally find a use for gibblets), I have made my own.

The nature of the soft pretzel, being salty and buttery before you even begin, allows a recipe that is sheer elegance in its simplicity. You can dress up a soft pretzel if you like, I suppose. But why would you?

I recommend using the soft pretzels found at Miller’s Twist in Reading Terminal, but any soft pretzel will do.

Soft Pretzel Stuffing

1 dozen soft pretzels
2 quart chicken or vegetable broth
4 oz of butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 sprigs of fresh sage, chopped
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
Salt
A dash of Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle (an optional touch, but I always find it adds a little somethin’-somthin.’ Garlic powder will serve)

1)    Preheat the oven to 350°. I usually make this along side a roast turkey, using Alton Brown’s recipe, so the oven has already been at 350° for quite some time before I shove the stuffing in.

2)    Chop the soft pretzels into 1-inch pieces, place in a large bowl. Poor one quart of the broth into bowl, and allow the pretzel pieces to soak the broth up

3)    Melt the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots celery and a pinch of salt, and sweat until the onions are translucent

4)    Add  sage and thyme to the vegetable mixture, stir until the vegetables are evenly coated.

5)    Add the pretzel pieces, including the broth at the bottom of the bowl. Add Sandwich Sprinkle. Stir well.

6)    Add more broth, so that the liquid comes halfway up the sides of the dutch oven (usually only 2 cups, but it depends on how dry or absorbent you pretzels are)

7)    Place the dutch oven in the oven, covered, for 30 minutes.

8)    Remove cover, and cook for another 20 minutes.

9)    Serve immediately in huge honking spoonfuls.

 

Not a fancy recipe, I will admit. But a crowd-pleaser just the same.


An Awfully Big Adventure/City of Sleep

Long time, no post. No wonder the show has gone on hiatus. All I want to do is talk about the just-released Rap Battle Beyond the Stars, and the Balticon that surrounded it, but we gotta do a little house cleaning. First, An Awfully Big Adventure!

This was a strange episode, written in a rush because P.J, Matt and Kennedy were all going to be at my house at the same time, and I couldn’t let that go without recording something. We recorded it in one night, and most of the what you hear is a single performance, like a play. It was incredibly thrilling to do an episode this way. I’d like to do more full-cast recordings like this, but scheduling voice actors is hard enough as it is. Still, it’d be nice to do it occasionally. The way the actors played off each other was worth the stress of pulling the story together in time for them to record.

The story is a odd duck, whimsical with a very, very dark undercurrent I’m not sure everyone caught. Or maybe you did. I mean, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys as a suicide cult, that makes sense, right? Not a stretch?

It might be a stretch. Still, heck of a great time making it.



If An Awfully Big Adventure was all about being quick, City of Sleep was the opposite. Took awhile to get all the voice actors together to record. It’s not the most complex story of the new season–that dubious honor belongs to the upcoming Supervillain Corner crossover–but it’s on up there.

Luckily, I have some of the best voice actors around to call upon to make it work. Hillary, PJ., Len, Fred, J.R., and Jennifer all knock it out of the park.

It is without a doubt my favorite episode so far. There’s that weird, layered storytelling I like to do, and there’s a moment where you’re listening to a recording of people listening to a recording of people listening to a recording of a person listening to a recording, which makes me chuckle every time I think about it. Neil Gaiman once did an issue of The Sandman that had three layers of people telling stories within stories, and I’ve been wanting to do the found-audio equivalent for awhile now. And this story, which plays with the concepts of trust, deceit and recordings replacing memories (hi, Facebook), was perfect for that sort of rabbit hole.

Also, Genevieve‘s art for the episode is just fantastic.


So, about the hiatus.

Back when I started this new season of the show, I did not have the full-time job I do now. Which means that I haven’t had the time to write new scripts for the show. Hence the break.

Which turned out to be good timing, because not long after the hiatus started, my computer broke. When it rains, it pours, so the saying goes.

I should be getting my laptop back from the shop today, so I imagine we’ll still be on schedule for the return. Here’s hoping.

Until then, there’s the “Rap Battle Beyond The Stars,” and I’ve got a reading an some other odds and ends from Balticon to tide you over.

I don’t know how I’m going to sum up everything that happened at Balticon.

I’ll think of something.


Pledge Drives


If you follow me on social media, you probably remember me talking about how “Pledge Drives” was supposed to go up before “Welcome to the Hidden Almanac,” but was pushed back due to technical difficulties. At the time, I was little upset about it, but now, I’m actually kind of glad this episode ended up where it did. It felt right to open the new season with the Hidden Almanac crossover, and this episode does it’s job as a welcoming to the world of the show.

And what a world, that has such people in it! Listeners will recognize my sister Kate, reprising her role from “How’s It Gonna End?” as my GPR supervisor. Phil Thomas, who also put in a voice for “How’s It Gonna End?” shows up with his West Phillians partner Andy Holman. Jennifer Steen, of the much-missed podcast Jennisodes, is someone I’ve wanted to be on the show since I started looking for other people to voice it.

The real coup of this episode about fake public radio shows is two real public radio people. Edison Carter (not his real name) is an award-winning NPR journalist has done NPR’s Morning Edition in, like, three states now. And Ellen Kushner, in addition to being a beloved fantasy novelist (she wrote the delightful Swordspoint) and a subject for one of J.R. Blackwell’s In Their Own Worlds photos, also did a wonderful show called Sound & Spirit. An archive of over 90 episodes of Sound & Spirit are available online for your listening pleasure, and you and your ears (or whatever you use to listen; I don’t judge) should really take advantage of that. I recommend “Dreams” and “Tricksters,” but every one I’ve listened to so far has been great, so I imagine you can’t go wrong.


I recently saw Alexandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain, and it has quickly become one of my favorite films. It’s not for everyone–certainly not for anyone who has problems with plots that are barely there and weirdness for weirdness’s sake–and for all it’s dizzying heights, there are some pretty dismal lows. But it does have a scene where some meticulously-costumed iguanas and toads reinact the Spanish Conquest of Mexico (you can watch it here, with film’s score replaced by Apocalyptica’s cover of “Fade to Black”) and if you can’t see the brilliance in that, I’ve got nothing for you.

Yes, this is going to be referenced in an upcoming episode.

No, not in the way you think.

Actually, maybe in the way you think. You folks are pretty smart. You’ve probably got a lot of what I’m setting up already figured out.


New episodes mean a new Shirt of the Month! And for March, for your sartorial pleasure, we have none other than the glaring visage of Reverend Mord!

Who wouldn’t want that on your chest?

I’m taking votes on what the Shirt of the Month should be for April. Make your voice heard! I’m curious as which one of these shirts you folks like the most.

There is, of course, a possibility of a three-way tie. I don’t know what I’m going to do if that happens.

I’ll think of something.


Welcome To The Hidden Alamanac

And so we begin Season 2, offering very little explanation for what happened at the end of Episode 12. Instead, here is a crossover with one of my favorite podcasts, The Hidden Almanac, done by my good friends Ursula Vernon and Kevin Sonney of Dark Canvas Media.

I’ve been itching to a crossover for awhile—the conceit of VFPX means that me plopping down in someone else’s world and talking to them is a matter of course—and it was only natural that I show up on the door step of Reverend Mord and Pastor Drom. The Hidden Almanac is a show where an eccentric radio host goes through the fantastic by way of the mundane. Really, the only differences are that The Hidden Almanac comes out three times a week, and I use more sound effects.

I cannot thank Ursula and Kevin enough to allowing me to play around in their world. The whole process, from when I first sat down to write the script to when we all gathered together the day after Christmas to record, was like a dream. I’ve never had an episode come together so smoothly before. When I sent Ursula the script, I was worried that she might not like it, and would request serious changes. She did have one change, which was the addition of a gardener’s joke.

And she was right to put that in. Wouldn’t be The Hidden Almanac without gardening jokes.


You can, of course, purchase a print or card of Ursula Vernon’s amazing work of Reverend Mord glaring over a microphone, just as you can for all the other episode artwork. Because who doesn’t want a adorable demon on their wall?

That’s just classy, that’s what that is.


I’ve seen the DEADPOOL film, as I assume most people on the planet have. It is, without a doubt, not only the best film based on the X-Men franchise, but also the one that is the truest to its source material. While you and I would think that this would lead to a shift in the way these funnybook adaptations are made, where more attention is paid to properly delivering to the big screen the characters and concepts that made these corporate trademarks worth filming in the first place, it looks like the only real change is going to be more “R” rated superhero films.

Conventional wisdom dictated that anything over a “PG-13″ meant a huge chunk of the potential audience for a cape flick wouldn’t be able to buy tickets, but if the litany of babies in the theater when I saw the film is any indication, that’s not really a problem.

(They all hated the strip-club scene, by the by)

I don’t have a problem with “R” rated superhero movies. Wolverine would certainly benefit from being able to use his knife-hands on screen as opposed to just out of frame, and Lexi Alexander’s PUNISHER WAR ZONE is a hoot and a half. And if you were curious as to what an “R” rated Batman film would look like, look no further than ICHI THE KILLER. ICHI THE KILLER is directed by Takashi Miike, and it’s exactly as wonderfully horrible and horribly wonderful as you might expect an “R”-rated Batman film to be.

But part of the reason I like ICHI THE KILLER is that it isn’t a Batman film. Some characters have too much symbolic weight as figures in children’s literature to truly be enjoyed engaging in the sex and violence that Deadpool wallowed it. And you don’t need either thing to tell an adult story.

DEADPOOL for all its flashbacks and swearing, is still a pretty simple and direct tale. Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT film is one of the few truly sophisticated superhero stories—and it’s rated PG-13.


I’ve got a new day job, as the lead editor at Drexel University’s Communication Department, which both awesome and and incredibly busy. I’m confident I can keep up the usual every-two-weeks schedule on the podcast, It’s also been a long time since I had a regular job, so I couldn’t tell exactly how I plan to make that happen.

I’ll think of something.


A Haiku of Garbage Food

While I am taking a month off, I am not a monster. I’ve added “A Haiku of Garbage Food” to the feed, where J. R. Blackwell and I joined  Ursula Vernon and Kevin Sonneys remarkable podcast Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap. It’s a good two hours of us eating questionable items and making jokes about “children’s whiskey” and “Man Scouts,” and it ends with us eating meticulously-crafted replica poop.

No, really. That’s what we ended on. J.R. and I brought the poop as a gift:

The bear was nice, but I think the raccoon was my favorite.

Ursula and Kevin have another remarkable podcast, The Hidden Almanac, where the vaguely-Catholic Reverend Mord expounds on the history and culture of a rich fantasy world. If you’re a fan of The Voice of Free Planet X, there’s a plethora of reasons to check out The Hidden Almanac. Not the least of which is the fact that VFPX will be crossing over with HA in February!

It’s my favorite episode of the new season, folks. Perhaps because it was so easy to record; we all just stood in Kevin’s recording studio and said our lines. It felt remarkably professional.


I made an upgrade to my gear for the new season, finally purchasing a Blue Snowball, the microphone that has been the standard for my podcasting pals for awhile now. My setup for the past few years has involved a combination of a Zoom H4n recorder and a Blue Snowflake, both of which are marvelous, portable microphones. But with more people coming to me to record, I wanted something a little sturdier, something that will stay at home and record more than one person at once.

Plus, I could get one in chrome. That was a huge selling point.

I’ve been using it a bit, and it is a very, very fine microphone. If you’re thinking about getting into podcasting, trust me, this is the one mic you need.


J.R. and I recently discovered Marie Kondo’s method for tidying up and getting rid of the things you neither want nor need, but are inexplicably holding onto. We’ve become quite taken with it. We’ve already gone through all our clothes and books, both of which were difficult for their own reasons. I am apparently a sock-hoarder; when I had counted all the socks I had accumulated, I found I could go nearly two months without having to wash socks once. Now, I admit to being a bit of a clothes-horse–I kept more clothes than J.R. did–but that was beyond the pale even for me. Some of those socks had literally never been worn.

It’s gotten me to rethink my definition of ownership. I had three pairs of pants that I hadn’t worn in years. They were just sitting in my drawer, taking up space. If you had seen what I’ve worn every day (and, if you follow me on Instagram, you have), you wouldn’t think I owned those three pairs of pants. And if I never used them, did I actually own them? Or was I just storing them?

Going through the books and comics was even harder. I haven’t tackled my longboxes yet, but I reduced my trades and graphic novels by about half. It was difficult to separate from the collector mentality, to look a my comics not as a collection, but as a library. Not “What was I proud I owned,” but “What do I enjoy reading.” So, a lot of comics J.R. had been proud to collect over the past years were removed, some of them common, some obscure, some of them even autographed. But when I look at the book shelf now, I don’t miss them. I kept all the stuff I enjoy.

I donated the rest to Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, which just opened not too long ago. My friend Randy Green–aka R-Son The Voice of Reason of Gangstagrass and other such impressive projects–does their comics ordering, which meant he took me seriously when I said I had comics to give, but didn’t quite believe me when I said I didn’t want any money for them. They’re still accumulating their stock, so they were much happier to have volumes of Preacher and Lupin III to sell than I was just storing them. Amalgam is fantastic store, too. If you’re in the Philly area and you haven’t stopped by, you’re cheating yourself.

Seeing Randy so pleased with the comics took some of the edge off how difficult it was to go through them. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to go through my accumulation of toys.

I’ll think of something.


How’s It Gonna End?

How’s It Gonna End” is a weird episode. I mean, they all are. VFPX is nothing if not an odd show, start to finish. But “How’s It Gonna End,” is odd beast even among those. For one, I take an active role in this one, instead of just asking questions (though I do ask a lot of questions). It’s full of continuity bits and pieces, callbacks to episodes from months ago like “Paused” and “Mistaking Our Mirrors,” and bit more information on the show’s lurking boogeyman. It’s a story about time, about endings, and finishes with that eternal symbol of unfinished business, the answering machine message. It’s a weird episode, of a weird show.

Because of that, it’s one of my favorites. Your mileage may vary, but I love it, weirdness and all.

Also, how great is that painting Avalon Batory did for the episode? She’s a wonder, she is. I wish you guys could see the painting in person. Digital copies do not it justice.


Part of the reason this episode is so great is the cast, the largest one yet. It’s pretty much an all-star cast of my favorite web entertainments: Jason Banks of Talk Nerdy 2 Me, Phil Thomas of West Phillians, and Christiana Ellis of Space Casey & Five More Minutes join VFPX stalwarts Kennedy Allen of The Black Tribbles  and Chris Morse of Supervillian Corner. Rounding out the cast is Whitney Strix Beltrán, making an impressive VFPX debut as a character we’re going to see a lot of in the future, and Kate Axelrod, who puts the button on the episode with the practiced disdain that can only come from growing up with me as a brother.

Working with all of them was fantastic. I could not have asked for a better cast to close out Season 1. Expect to hear more from every one of them in Season 2.


Those of you who happened to be tuned into G-Town Radio on Christmas Eve may have heard something… familiar. Len Webb managed to make sure everyone had a very merry Planet X-Mas, putting episodes of VFPX on the radio!

Yes, that’s right, VFPX is a radio show, now, in addition to being a podcast. I’ve long been talking about the difference between podcasts and radio shows as being philosophical at best, and here I am, thanks to Len, being able to practice what I preach.

VFPX is going to be on the radio again tonight at 9pm, with G-Town Radio playing “Oddfellows Local” and “My Wife In Hell.” Both of which have Len in prominent roles, so if you like Len–and who doesn’t, after this?–go to the G-Town website and listen to the stream. Show him that VFPX on the radio is a very, very good idea.

Personally, I can’t think of a better way to end the year.


If the year is ending, that must mean it’s the last day to purchase the T-shirt of the Month for December, the shiny metallic logo for Huxley Interplanetary. Chris asked me for this very shirt months ago, and with Chris reprising Huxley Branson for “How’s It Gonna End,” it seemed like a good time to make it available.


There’s some mugs, too, made by request. I’m actually very open to merch requests, so if there’s something you’d like to see in the coming year, drop me a line.


There will be no t-shirt for January, as I am taking the month off. There will be 12 episodes in 2016, just like this year, but they won’t start until February 1st. Creative work, I’ve come to realize, is a lot like farming: Everything happens in seasons. These past couple of months have been all about the harvest, putting this show out for everyone experience. I need to take some winter for myself, to recharge, to let my mental ground go fallow before I plant more seeds. So, no episodes in January. Those of you who support the show with Patreon will not be charged anything for the month.

I’m actually looking forward to it, which is unlike me. I have a tendency to be sorta…non-stop. Often, to the detriment of my physical health. So I’m gonna take January off. Draw some things. Write stuff that isn’t podcast scripts. Watch some movies in the theater instead of on my laptop screen. Finish those books I started in 2015. Or maybe just catch up on my sleep. There’s plenty of ways to spend winter, after all.

I’ll think of something.