Bylines, etc.

Since I’m updating the blog, here’s a couple of things.

First, my story “Akashiyaki (Octopus dumplings, serves two)” was published in the January issue of LCRW, found here.  It’s a buddy story about an octopus who escapes a restaurant tank for a night out on the town, and the restaurant worker who follows him.

And second, I’m a guest blogger at the Potomac Review today.  My guest post is here.  Its alternate title is “In Defense of Jan Brady.” (Not really, but, y’know.)


State of the Hildey: 2012 edition

I haven’t posted to this blog for a year and four days, but…


I went through this phase of not knowing what to talk about, for months, and it makes me uncomfortable to post things when I feel like I don’t have anything to contribute to anyone else’s brainfeeds. So I didn’t.

Truthfully, in hindsight, that sounds like bullshit. 2012 was busy.  Let’s recap:

Val and I got married! We “eloped” to D.C. with the parents and some very close friends in tow, then held a reception three days later for the rest of our loved ones, and decorated our own cake.  The reception was crammed into a brick and copper-tabled room at Lancaster Brewing Company, which is awesome and run by great people, providing not only great beer but fantastic food, and they deserve a shout-out.

We honeymooned in Napa Valley soon afterwards.  California as a destination was a first for both of us. More shout-outs go to The Inn on First for one of the best experiences we’ve ever had staying somewhere, and to Trahan Winery for making my favorite wine of the trip and for letting us play with their dog, Sadie, in the tasting room.

Then came the other weddings. First one friend, then another. Then my brother. Then Val’s sister. Then my cousin. Then another pair of friends. We weren’t alone in having a full wedding plate: friends of friends, my boss, other relatives, seems like everybody picked 2012 as their year. (We called dibs back in 2010, so there.)

There was work, too. There’s the day job, writing, more writing, helping out with a summer workshop, editing, editing, editing.

The Hildemobile died last January. It was a 1996 Saturn SL2 and it gimped along and its tires and brake assembly were a frigging money pit, so it was finally time to put it to pasture (where it was crushed into a cube, presumably). It got this close to hitting 200,000 miles, but didn’t quite make it. I loved that old car.  But I do like the new car.  I hate having a car loan.  But I finally own a car where all four windows work.  I call the new one my Spruce Moose.

The 6-year old laptop died a couple months after the Hildemobile.  I was less emotionally invested in that piece of virus-bait.

We tried the year-of-no-TV thing, and made it as far as March before we caved. We did, however go an entire year without Netflix streaming, which we’ve since restarted. Netflix is like a hostile takeover of one’s reading time. I did read more last year, and when we first started I was writing more, but I actually noticed a decline in my drawing output. That has to do with wanting to step back from my fan art and start working on originals. I’m working on a graphic novel, but I’m mostly devoted to the script part of it right now.

I missed out on applying for a (small) potential comic artist gig because I didn’t have an online portfolio at the ready.  I could have kicked myself. So, hindsight and all that, I now have an art blog at Hildebrand-Art.

I visited the Deep South for the first time, taking a trip to see family in Alabama. There were gators. There was the Gulf.  And the food… oh my god, the food.  And I discovered that I really enjoy boiled peanuts, despite making fun of the notion for years. (Come on, it sounds disgusting.) They taste a little like beans.

Val and I adopted a dog. He was a stray found in Gettysburg and almost didn’t make it until a rescue took him in. His given name is Snickerdoodle, which was shortened to Snickers, and now he’s Snick, in addition to his thousand other nicknames, including Two-Poops Magoo because of certain bathroom habits. Here’s a picture Val took of him at Christmas:


Getting a dog wasn’t my idea. I grew up in a household crammed uncomfortably full of pets, and I’ve been enjoying my pet-free adulthood for over a decade.  Before we got him, I didn’t want one, and I was kind of a brat about the subject. But I could not imagine life without him now. He’s my sweet boy.

Oh! And I turned 30.

So that was my year, though I’m sure I am forgetting something. I may have been a quiet ‘netizen, but the year was anything but quiet.