The Freedom to Write

I have a writer’s callous.

Very few people in the 21st century maintain a writer’s callous, the telltale indentation on your dominant hand where you normally rest a pen.  Composition after composition, frustrated hand and head viciously working together against time, all the answers having to come out of your tired phalanges. And yet, even as I type on Chappie with my tablet and my smartphone both in range, I still freewrite by hand. Zealot for abuse? Nah. Just a sign I’m still alive.

And free to write.



We do take advantage of that free-om, us Americans. We put all kinds of nonsense out in the 0s and 1s and it is protected (for the most part) by our Bill of Rights. But I know not every person with Internet access has the free-om to type their authentic opinions. We know from following international news that simply voicing an opinion can shut down a digital nation. Look at what all occurred with Twitter during the Arab Spring. Jobs and lives were lost simply by Tweeting. Tweeting!

I celebrate a personal free-om today: the ability to write what I feel, in the comfort of jim jams, folded legs on the couch. This was not my position last year. I was not allotted a journal. I was on a strict schedule. I was not allowed to leave a building for seven days. The absence of a pen and paper was much more disabling than the locked doors.

To those who write despite despair, I honor you. May you continue wielding words as weapons. 



Guilty By Association

“Your honor, all I did was retweet…”

“This from the woman who wrote, ‘I Blew Up Juarez‘!”

“*sigh* Ya got me, yah honah, ya got me…”

My mental cutaway when I happened to catch on Twitter I was ‘featured’ in a webzine, only to find out it’s someone’s mash-up site. Such is the side affect of being out there in the zeroes and ones; the more you digitally connect, the more likely you’ll get digitally hijacked!

It’s not that big a deal, knowing my @VonSimeon is a public account. I’ve been much more active on Twitter this year, but not enough to where I’m desperately racking up followers to substantiate authenticating my Twitter existence. Twitterstence? Existter? Nevermind…

So things like this are bound to happen, and will continue to happen, as I widen the cast of my Ether-net (get it get it!). A credit for sharing a post on Literary Jihadi…? Umm, think I’ll leave THAT one off the CV!



The Sick Critic Awards

I’ve broken a record, folks. This is the longest I’ve gone (six days as of this composition) without being able to hold anything in:



But ya gotta make the most of these events, right? After all, that’s why they invented Xbox.

Since the room closest to the toilet is the living room, I thought it best to convert my couch to a recovery raft, pillows everywhere, the TV tray stationed at the end of the chaise, so I can optimize my ill state. The less movement, the less yakking. Some gems as I lay in repose:


Best TV Show About An Irish Family

This you can find on I already had been hooked with Season 1, and it seemed the little baby Jesus thought it fit to deliver all of Season 2 the same week I go under. Stars Chris O’Dowd, who pretty much epitomizes the kind of guy I’m into: tall, handsome, hilariously goofy and not American! Everyone cast in this show is delightfully insane.


Best Documentary About Fucking and Dying

I always thought it a bit suspect that syphilis was supposedly brought from the Americas to plague Europe. Here, we find a couple of congenital syphilitic twins in the mass grave that is Pompeii, which, if proven true, then that means syphilis was indeed the WHITE MAN’S DISEASE. Reparations!


Best Animated Performance Involving A Butterfly

I don’t know where I was when The Venture Brothers originally came out – I do remember watching Robot Chicken quite religiously – but I’m so glad I discovered this cartoon. With the Season 2 opener using Rozalla’s “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)” I’m a convert. A fuckin’ FAN.


Too Big For My Britches

Original Post Date October 09, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Technical difficulties send Von back to the draftboard.

Technical issues, all day, every day this week! It started with a video call with my family, and my cousin informing me my Patch blog link doesn’t come up at home. She lives in Panama (the country, not the beach up north) and she and others over there can’t read about my antics. If they can’t read it, then people in Germany can’t read it, the guys in Afghanistan can’t read it, shoot.

Then I received a return email from our very own St. Pete Patch editor, William Mansell, regarding the want to adapt my blog for different Patches in Pinellas County. His answer, emulate same post with an individual account where I want to be. Tedious. I reminded him I couldn’t embed videos in the body of the posts. William (Will? Willy? We never got informal) said all it needed was a refresh to the page. You can look at “Grace Under Fire” and see the short code in full; even if you refresh all day, it’s not showing the video. Argh.

onthemic1I designed a music-centric post with the intention of embedding the videos related to the conversation I wanted to have with you. I logged into my YouTube channel, typed in one of the artists, and when I hit play, I got no audio. I noticed the speaker icon had an x beside it. Must’ve disabled it somehow, right? Checked my settings, visited the video manager, and there was a copyright issue. “Third party dispute,” was the phrase highlighted beside my video. To borrow from my friend Sonia’s catalog, “What the WHAT!?” I clicked on it to read further, and some organization claimed to own the song I sang in the video. The random organization cited “We Was Crazy” as the infringed composition. Huh? The song I sang is “Crazy,” by Patsy Kline, written by Willie Nelson, recorded in 1961. I highly doubt “We Was Crazy” was rockin’ the airwaves back then. Erroneous, erroneous claim! I shouted to my YouTube screen, and I prepared to dispute it formally, but trying to be time-sensitive, opted to just click Acknowledge and move on. The restoration of audability didn’t occur til close to 6pm.

What a mess. I have a marketing distribution list, a Twitter account, a channel, a blog, scattered all over the 0s and 1s. Like the time I pulled on Gina’s pants and they stopped below my big butt: I’ve grown too big for my britches. This is a good sign, growth means progress. It means interest in my art. So it’s time to collect all these sources of information and put them in a clean, dynamic, global portal under the brand Von Simeon. I planked down the finski to register a domain name, and will use the rest of October to get it organized for ya. Until I say so, keep checking in here. If you’d like a direct announcement, please email with the header “add to distribution.”

My Editor Made Me Do It!

Original Post Date February 28, 2013 at 12:54 AM

Handing over a manuscript to an editor is easy in theory, a metaphysical meltdown in practice. 

2013-02-27 15.42.28

2013-02-27 15.09.49It wasn’t when I updated the file in Schrivener.  It wasn’t when I selected File > Compile and created a PDF document of the manuscript.  And not even when I uploaded the PDF to the Print Online page at  It was when the long ponytailed FedEx Kinko’s assistant slapped the 391 page spiral bound document on the counter at the 3rd Street location that it happened.

A minor panic attack.

I felt the vessels in my neck pulsate.  My heart began to race.

First draft.  Book One.

Trace and I will meet on Friday to hand over my soul.  This is what it feels like, anyways.  The most intimate interaction I’ve had in the past three years, now revealed.  The comfort of living esconsced in the throes of written word, occupied by nothing more than pen to paper, finger to keyboard, now disrupted.

This is personal.  This is me saying, not only do I have a story to tell, but a story worth sharing, a story that brings up questions, answers others, and reveals the depths I’m willing to submerge.  This is fantasy, yes.  These are fictitious characters.  But they were housed in me.  The handing over of that relationship to my editor feels like ending a relationship wtih someone you genuinely don’t want to see go.

And thus, the panic.  The anxiety.  My friends that lived in my head, danced across my notebooks, are going to live with Trace for a while.  She’s gonna treat them well, I know.  But will they remember me when they come back?  Oh, the uncertainty!

Uncertainty (U) + Fear (F) + Anxiety (X) = Angst (A).

And so there I will be until I get round one of edits returned in a few weeks.

Breathe into the belly, one…two…three…four.  Hold.  Acknowledge the space in between.  Exhale from the top down, one…two…three…four.

To add to angst is the establishment of a web presence.  Let’s explore the ontology of that for a moment.  There is presence, as in, existence of fleshy form acknowledged by other fleshy forms.  Then there’s web presence, as in, existence acknowledged in digital form, the being translated into 0s and 1s.

I pride myself in existing “off the grid” these last three years, but the wise Trace insists a web presence is vital to commercial success.  Not only must I share my playmates but I must be omnipresent to do so.

U + F + X = A

Breathe into the belly.  Hold.  Exhale from the top down.

This blog will be my main “web presence” portal; I’ll update this weekly.  Please connect with me on LinkedIn at and @VonSimeon on Twitter.

Facebook page is a work-in-progress; I’ll let you know when it’s up and running.