Corpus: A Comic Anthology of Bodily Ailments edited by Nadia Shammas

Corpus is a book of stories by people whose health isn’t perfect.

Frankly, that’s all of us — if not today, than someday.

Body shenanigans range from the annoying to the profound disability, from the terminal or deadly to the “oh god this again, I just want to go to the store”. Around 17% of people in the United States self-report a disability (which means the number is higher) and body shenanigans, whether formally disabilities or not, affect a much higher percentage of us than we want to talk about.

And, at least in the United States, the last few years have been filled with political, public discourse, (and in my case personal) health crises of such proportion that frankly, I’m surprised I’m sitting here to write about it.

But that’s why this book is excellent and that’s why it’s important. We are all human, and one of the things that makes us all human is the annoying, frustrating, sometimes horrible ways in which our bodies break down, act weird, create what shouldn’t be created, destroy what shouldn’t be destroyed, and expect us to persevere regardless.

Humanizing body shenanigans brings us together.

We need to talk more about health.

This book opens the door to having conversations about what we’re all going through, and reminds us that no matter how small or large the problem, we’re in it together.

Great thanks to the editor, Nadia Shammas, for putting it together, and I hope there will be many sequels to come.

Note: I purchased this through a Kickstarter, so it was probably a limited print run. If you want to order a copy, I wouldn’t wait around too long.

Day 333: still not using the dirt

Day 333:

It’s raining like crazy, so I’m not doing much to fill the crevasses. Not only is dirt harder to work with when it’s wet, but when it’s a bit darker, like when it’s rainy out, the monsters don’t spontaneously combust in the rain as well.

I really kind of rely on the spontaneous combustion thing.

Anyway, I’m getting a lot of gravel and cobblestones cleaned out of these lower areas so that it’s a bit safer to walk around on.

Kind of boring, cold, wet. Not an exciting day.

Day 332: haven’t used the dirt yet

Day 332:

In the process of trying to confirm that I can safely fill in some of these dangerous crevasses of course I found more ore.

And even more ore below that.

And I don’t know how deep it goes, but during the day I’m working on topside and at night I’m cleaning it out.

It’s still pretty risky – I mean, scary things are quite good at falling into these crevasses, which you would think is almost too coincidental to be coincidental, but my friends from high school that were good at math assure me that that’s what coincidental means.

I prefer thinking that someone’s in control of this plot—or at least I did until i landed on this crap rock in the middle of nowhere with no signs of civilization.

When I was a kid, my dad used to insist on taking me to this folk festival every year. It covered ancient history—everything from the middle ages through about the 1800s off the old clock—and eventually when I was a teenager he found me a volunteer job there.

I made apple butter.

Ok so if you don’t know what apple butter is, it’s sort of like if you cooked applesauce about ten times longer than you think you should, but very carefully so that instead of burning it just got darker and sweeter and darker and sweeter, sort of like molasses.

Apparently the Pennsylvania Germans, which my father’s roughly descended from like ten generations back, used to eat this stuff on everything. Toast. Sandwiches. They just put bowls of it out with cottage cheese and ate it from a plate. It was their idea of a sweet and savory snack to stretch the meal, kind of like sugared vegemite cubes are today.

I kind of miss those. They’re delicious deep-fried.

Anyway, when I wasn’t making apple butter (ask me some time, I can still rattle off most of the recipe), I was wandering the faire grounds checking out the other sights. I know how to roast a turkey from pluck to plate. I know how to braid my own rope, and then from there how to twist it into actual ten-millimeter cable. I know how to make my own ice cream.

Oh, ice cream. I hadn’t even thought of milking the cows to make ice cream. Next day off I’m totally making ice cream.

Assuming I can figure out how to make ice.

Dammit.

But also the faire was where I got my interest in smelting. We had a blacksmith on site and he taught the basics of temperature and smelting and ore… and the rest I learned over the years in classes. The Company was in the middle of training me to use the smelters on board – the computerized ones – when all this other stuff broke loose.

Anyway, I didn’t want to necessarily do all this stuff when I was just a highschooler, but there was no way to know then that those skills would probably save my life now, so there you go. Learn what you can, kids, you never know when you’ll be abandoned on a terraformed asteroid full of murderous beasts.

Young Explorers Adventure Guide Volume 5 now available in stores!

Do you like half-cat home security systems? Rogue physics experiments? Rebellious teenagers? If so, you should be reading, “The Ground Shifted”, the latest story I’ve published. You can find it in the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, Volume 5, now available in stores.


The anthology contains 24 science-fiction stories for middle-grade readers (and up—and don’t tell me that doesn’t include you because it totally does) that will take you on adventures all over the universe.

Day 331: reshaping the ground

Day 331:

It turns out this cave isn’t just a cave, it’s a chasm that stretches a good length to the southeast. It was hard to tell from above because it’s narrow at the top and deep at the bottom.

The other problem with that is that it means I can get drop-in friends from above of the exploding/arrow wielding/growling/pony spider type pretty much any time.

So today I hauled multiple sacks of straight up dirt back there to see if I can fill in some of the less cavernous caverns, at least until I can properly secure them.

The hod doohickey is on hold by the way because I’m still puzzling out the drill bit problem. So large leather bags of dirt it is. Good thing I eat so much chicken and their skins make such a fascinating leather.

Tomorrow I’ll start filling the holes and taking down some of the trees. Hopefully without exploding neighbors.