Some good news for a change (Non-fiction)

As some of you may recall, my company laid me off back in March. Fortunately, they rehired me last week. I went back to the office on Monday. It was surreal in some ways, but  I appreciated that my former teammates made my return possible. It’s not my old position, but it is a position.

Over the past four months, I learned more than I ever expected to about LinkedIn, job interviews, and how to produce an ATS friendly resume. I also discovered how good my company’s health care policy is. As much as I would love to be a full-time writer, I didn’t have the savings or the killer marketing instinct necessary to make it possible. I’ll have to wait for my retirement for that to happen.

There were lots of difficulties during my job hunt. Though too many would credit a higher power, I feel I got this point with the help of other people. I appreciated the support from my friends and family. The advice and training I received from JVS/JCFS pointed me in the right direction, and kept my spirits up whenever an interview didn’t go well. Being part of the Kol Hadash and Freethought Blogs community also encouraged me through the stressful times. We are in this together.

Now I need to adjust to my new work hours and my new creative writing schedule. I’m making progress towards finishing the next book in my secular Urban Fantasy series. I might beat George RR Martin to publication again. 🙂





Center for Inquiry and Richard Dawkins filming ‘The Sound of Reason’ in Bolingbrook (Fiction)

The only movie production still operating in the United States is currently shooting scenes in Bolingbrook. Currently titled The Sound of Reason, controversial Professor Richard Dawkins and the equally controversial Center for Inquiry are producing what they claim will be the atheist version of The Sound of Freedom.

Said a production manager, who asked not to be identified, “If you can’t beat them, copy them. They’re not the only ones who can make vile accusations against our opponents.”

The movie is about a young British Home Office employee named Richard who uncovers a sinister cabal planning to infect a mind virus on the Western World. When his supervisor, Peter Zed, threatens to reprimand Richard for his dangerous ideas, Richard resigns and sets out to stop the “Broke” mind virus.

Because most of the actors are British, and most of the scenes are being filmed in Oxford, UK, The Sound of Reason is exempt from the SAG/SWG strike. CFI, according to sources, insisted on filming part of the movie in the United States. The production, however, does not have a permit from the Village of Bolingbrook. As a result, the crew film at night with hidden cameras.

Paul X. Cooper, a Bolingbrook resident, claims the crew drafted him into being an extra. “Some guy handed me a $100 and told me to watch the actors and pretend to be offended. When they said Christianity was a symptom of the Broke Mind Virus, I didn’t need to act offend. I was offended.”

According to a source within Village Hall, Mayor Mary Alexander-Basta refused to grant a film permit. The sources claim she objected to this scene that was going to be filmed in front of the Bolingbrook Community Center. The sources provided a copy of the scene.

Richard: It’s hideous the way they infect children with the Broke Mind Virus. Parents are fooled into sending their children into special schools, where they are groomed to accept the mind infection.

Average American character to be named later: That’s terrible! Who should I shoot first?

Richard: But that’s not the worst part?

Average: It’s not?

Richard: The worst part is what they do to the children who resist the virus. They’re labeled “At Risk Youth” and forced to attend special sessions where infectors devise individual behavior modification programs for each sweet, innocent little child. Once infected with the Broke Mind Virus at such a young age, the condition is almost incurable!

Average: Outrageous! I must jump on social media and post about the radical gender identity cultural Marxists!

Richard: Gender identity? No. I’m talking about delusional religious leaders. 

Alexander-Basta denied meeting with a film crew. She urged all residents to remain calm during the strike. “There’s lots of content on the streaming platforms. HBO can revive all the programs they pulled. But in the unlikely event you finish watching all the platforms, we have lots of books you can check out at the library.”

A spokesperson for CFI denied they were producing a movie. The spokesperson started crying and said, “I survived Covid only to be interviewed by the Babbler. There is a secular hell, and I’m in it!”

In the background, a man who sounded like Richard Dawkins said, “My Twitter feed isn’t what it used to be. How will you fix it?”

A man who sounded like Elon Musk said, “I will come up with something and it will work because I’m a billionaire!”

Also in the Babbler

Chicagoland survives Russian tornado attack
Fire elementals devastate Canada
Gender critical feminists attack person critical of gender
God to smite Bolingbrook on 7/20/23

Note: This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer. 

Want to support my creative work? Check out my Urban Fantasy series, the Bolingbrook Babbler Stories.  You can also buy me a coffee.

Quick life and author update

It’s been a rough few months for my wife and I. She’s trying to balance a health issue and maintain her business. I’m still job hunting, which has many emotional swings. Especially this past week. Still, we’re hanging in there, and I’m now optimistic that I’ll find a new position soon.

Also, my new novel, Revenge of the Phantom Press, is progressing. I’m up to 23,000 words, and the first draft might end up at around 100,000 words. The pace of the story is an improvement over The Rift. My first incomplete draft of The Rift was close to 100,000, and I’d just gotten to the first weredeer scene. In contrast, I’ve already written some major scenes for Revenge. Now I’m getting to the fun part.

It’s possible I might get a first draft complete by next year. Then it will be a matter of finding the right editors.

If you want to learn more about the three currently released books in my Urban Fantasy series, go to (I’m also working on a web page redesign.)

So that’s where I am right now. I hope things are going well for all of you.


Would you let this man run your Mars colony? (Non-fiction)

Elon Musk

Elon Musk has decided to improve Twitter by imposing reading limits.

To address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation, we’ve applied the following temporary limits: – Verified accounts are limited to reading 6000 posts/day – Unverified accounts to 600 posts/day – New unverified accounts to 300/day

Considering that most social media companies want readers to say on as long as possible so they see more ads, this is not the way to recoup his $44 billion investment. I don’t know if it’s a cover for a broken update, or he has no impulse control when it comes to Twitter. Honestly, I surprised it hasn’t crashed and burned already.

If he fulfills his dream of moving to Mars and running a colony, I’m sure he would screw it up in ways I can’t even begin to imagine. Fortunately, I have a feeling he’ll be long gone by the time humanity figures out how to build sustainable cities on Mars.