Hello, friend!

I’m a writer, martial artist, and father. I also publish photographs at Same Ghost.


YUT NGEE SAHM, no.1

Reflections on Wing Chun, in an occasionally recurring feature. Two years ago, I was recuperating from a pretty bad illness. When Father’s Day rolled around, my wife gave me a great gift: she told me she’d pay for one month of martial arts, and all I needed to do w...



The seduction of maintenance

I like having my own website. There are a lot of systems humming away. And there’s even more involved in keeping up a local development environment. I use Homebrew on my Mac to operate an Apache server with PHP, mariaDB, and Composer. There’s a little frisson of satisfaction in r...



A postmortem

November was not a great month. We were all set to celebrate the first Thanksgiving in a decade I wasn’t working retail. We had set the itinerary, told the families, and packed the car. Tuesday night my daughter got sick. Wednesday, I got sick. Friday, it was my wife’s tu...



NaNoWriMo progress

National Novel Writing Month is upon us. The official challenge is 1,700 words a day for 30 days, leading up to a 50,000 word first draft. I’m playing it a little differently. I want to get back on the horse and make writing a daily habit. My target, at least for the fi...



Announcing Same Ghost

I’m old enough to have seen the transition from film photography to digital. Before I went to Italy with my high school Latin class, I received a Fuji 35mm camera as a present, to memorialize the trip. For the most part, that was the kind of occasion I took ph...



The Glorious People's Camera

In 2006, some friends wanted me to photograph their wedding. I had a 35mm film camera and a fixed-lens digital, but I knew I’d need something bigger for portraits and enlargements. So I looked on eBay. A little scene-setting: I lived in Austin, alone, and I’d had dental surgery. It w...



Flash, no. 2

You can’t escape Grace, they told me. You’re made for each other. It was good. Could hear the church organ blaring fortissimo, smell the flowers. I left. Town, her, everything I knew. Mad scramble out west without a plan or clue. On my back, on a woven blanket in c...



Flash, no. 1

I pry the ring off my finger in the Jet Blue lounge. I leave it on the cocktail napkin next to my empty glass. I raise my hand to the woman at the other end of the bar. Her eyes are chilled hunger. A twenty covers the bill, and covers ...



Writing around the story

I don’t like “worldbuilding.” The word is unnecessary. All writing is construction, from the sentence to the scene. And all writing, all of it, requires placement. Making up a portmanteau for something every writer does already is both unnecessary and pretentious. You’ll encounter it more in certain circles of the f...



The eschaton

Eschatology is a fixture of civilization. No matter where you look, you find people waiting for the end. It happened in the mid-1800s with the Millerites. It happened in 1992, with the conservative opposition naming Bill Clinton the Antichrist. It happened in 2012, across the scale, from New Age-inspired fears of ...



Fresh starts

The new year makes for the perfect time to consider yourself. Where you’ve been, what you want to accomplish. A lot of us make resolutions around this time. And a lot of us will note that most resolutions don’t last. “New year, new you,” the slogans go. But we aren’...



Strangers are friends I haven’t met yet. Drop me a line.