RSV and I

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans,

Sometime in the end of November, Dragon got sick again with her third cold. It quickly passed to Pegasus and to my mother-in-law. Jen and I were mysteriously unaffected.

Then I got a tickle in my throat and HUNGRY. As long as I can remember, when I start a non-vomiting cold, I get ridiculously hungry. Maybe my body is trying to get things ready for a bad cold.

By Saturday December 2nd, I was sick. I had trouble eating, moving, and talking. I tried to drink water as much as possible. Soon it was getting hard for me to breathe and both kids were still feeling it. We saw our family doctor on the 5th and I was prescribed a puffer and tests. Jen had a tickle by that point.

My nights were spent coughing and trying to force air into my lungs. In the Thursday as I was about to get a chest x-ray, my watch beeped and said something like, “You’re at rest and your heart rate just jumped, are you okay?”

Friday the 8th, I was sitting on the couch feeling my heart beat fast and not able to catch my breath. Finally Jen said, “Maybe you should go to the hospital?”

I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to leave my house and comfort, but my chest hurt. Jen called 911.

The ambulance took me to the Civic hospital where we found out:

  • My heart rate was 230 (normal resting is around 80-90)
  • I was dehydrated (probably from not being able to eat much, diarrhea, and fever)
  • I had low potassium, sodium, and magnesium
  • I had no vitamin D (doctors used the words “impossible” and “weird” more than I like about this)
  • I had a mild urinary tract infection

All of which was being caused by severe case of RSV and mild pneumonia.

At the hospital, they tried to shock my heart back into normal rhythm (twice) but it didn’t work. They gave me an IV with multiple medicines to help bring my heart rate down and by Saturday afternoon it was in the low 100’s.

Art by Dragon that was brought to the hospital in a care package along with some clothes and toiletries.

The rest of the weekend was spent coughing, hooked up to machines, and eating way too much crushed ice. The hospital staff took amazing care of me and I would be dead right now if not for them.

I was released on Monday, with pills that would control my heart rate, vitamin D supplements, and a plan to look in on me. They assure me the heart rate won’t be an issue once I get over the cold and I’ll be back to normal. (There was a hiccup with one of my IV sites getting infected, but I’m on antibiotics now.)

Now I need to recover. I’m still sick with RSV. I have no voice, my nose leaks, I’m coughing all night, I feel weak and dizzy. Several times I’ve worried about collapsing ,but I’m getting stronger.

Jen really stepped up and even through her own sickness (much shorter and milder than the rest of ours thankfully) made sure the kids and house were taken care of. I’m really proud of her.

We had a lot of support. My in-laws have been stalwart helpers, drivers, and kid herders. We also have amazing friends and neighbours who checked in and made sure we were okay. Thank you!

My work has also been super understanding and accommodating.

As of this writing (Thursday evening) I still have but a whisper for a voice and I’m easily tired, not to mention coughing, but I do feel better. It’s going to be a long, slow recovery for me.

Stay safe and be kind,


Under Wraps 2 – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Under Wraps 2.


They frame the story with a wedding and that structures it slightly differently than the first one. Makes it fresh and keeps the story going. The plot is good and flows really well. The parallels between the mummies and the kids is a little overdone and the messaging a little juvenile, even for a kids movie.

Score: 0.5


Often times a sequel will manufacture drama by changing a character. They skirted the line with this one, but made it believable. More importantly they solved their issues with good communication.

The kids were fun and the mummies did a great job.

I loved the dads; they were sweethearts.

Score: 1


Lots of clever pieces of dialogue and some really fun moments.

Often felt younger then it should, considering the age of the characters.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Typical Disney TV low budget effects, but the film makers leaned into the classic monster movie practical effects and that made it feel more grounded than bad CGI would have. The camera work was excellent.

The music was okay, if forgettable.

Score: 0.5


This was a fun movie with lots of exciting moments. Even though it felt a little young, everyone loved it.

Score: 1


A fun movie and a great sequel. It combines everything that was great about the first one and improves on it.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Dear Dragon and Pegasus – Sickness

Dear Dragon and Pegasus,

The past few weeks you’ve both been disturbinglydown with the sickness“. Dragon brought home a cold and it wasn’t long before Pegasus caught it; he always wants to do what his big sister is doing.

Just when we thought the cold was under control, Dragon went to school… for a couple days before calling home with a sore tummy. She vomited twice on the way home.

So we went to CHEO (which Dragon kept calling CHEREO for some reason.) Mum was with her for the first part of the ten hour wait and I was for the rest. It was exhausting and because of her non-standard symptoms, they missed that she had an ear infection. Dragon, sadly, missed Halloween because of it.

Two days later, her ear hurt and we went to the after-hours clinic. (Mum adds: MUCH faster than the hospital, but we had thought she had broken a rib or something and would need x-rays!) They figured out the ear infection and sent her home. The antibiotics seem to be helping, but it’s slow and the upset stomach, dizziness, and nausea are still there.

As previously mentioned, Pegasus insists on doing everything his older sister does and got himself an ear infection too. So off to the clinic on Sunday for him. Antibiotics are started and hopefully he’ll feel better soon.

The two of you spent a long time not getting sick because of COVID isolation and I forgot how hard it is watching you be sick. I feel completely helpless and I hate it. I’m the parent, I should have all the answers right?

I hope you feel better soon.

So far, Mum and I are still okay. Tired and ragged, but okay.

I love you my little Dragon and Pegasus,


Vacation ending… :-(


Looks like today is my last day of vacation. It’s sad but I’ll take another week at the end of June and then hopefully another in mid July. Those will be better. It’ll be nice to spend time with the kids.

I’m going to enjoy my last day by spending time with my kids, playing videogames, and maybe I’ll take them to Walmart and check out the discount chocolate.

Later days,


Under Wraps (2021) – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Under Wraps.


This is a cute Halloween story. There are a lot of errors in Egyptian history and I’m not sure what the point of the 3-day pass for the movie was. It seemed odd and without any reason. That being said, I liked the jab at grave robbing.

Score: 0.5


Although the characters were awesome and I really appreciated the diversity, I found there was a lack of depth. They just felt very YA written by someone who’s only seen kids in movies.

Score: 0.5


There were a lot of great wisecracks and gags. I really liked the play on words with the word Mummy.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

Excellent makeup and good acting combined with some genre savvy camera angles make this a fun movie to watch. It uses the practical effects well and limits the cheesy digital effects.

The music was okay, but I would have liked to hear more of Thriii’s “Calling all Monsters”.

Score: 0.5


This was a nice throwback to the kids monster movies of my youth. I liked the nod to Zombies (the Disney channel movie series) with the costumes in the background, and the awesome dancing. The whole family liked it and now the kids are pretending to be mummies and zombies, so yay?

If I have one gripe… Honey doesn’t work that way. Also it felt a little disjointed at times and I had a hard time not checking my phone,, which isn’t a good thing.

Score: 0.5


A fun if shallow Halloween movie. It has some great scenes and fun moments.

Final Score: 3 stars out of 5

Secret Headquarters – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Secret Headquarters.


A very simple and effecient story that uses everything that it sets up. It’s not groundbreaking writing but it is solid and well thought out.

Score: 1


An impressive young cast that balances comedy, action, and drama extremely well. I really enjoyed the evolution of the soldier. I liked the pseudo villain being a rich dude with too much greed. Although the Kill a Minion to show I’m a Jerk trope was a little overdone.

Score: 0.5


The movie leaned heavily into comedy and has a lot of great lines. The comedy was balanced well with beleivability.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The special effects were amazing and the locations suitibly YA. I found the camera work excellent and it emullated other hero movies excellently.

The music was significantly better than I had expected.

Score: 1


Despite a few awkward moments the movie is fun from start to finish. Everyone in the family loved it and the kids forgot to ask for snacks.

Score: 1


A light YA movie that meshes the humour of 80’s kids movies with the action and special effects of modern superhero films. A lot of fun with some amazing kid actors.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Mid-Year Review of Éric’s 2022 New Year’s Resolutions

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

It’s been an exciting six months and by that, I mean blarg. I still find it disturbing how much of the world is convinced the pandemic is over. Hopefully soon, we’ll see a vaccine for infants approved in Canada. Then I will feel much better, but I still am going to continue to be careful. It will be a while before I give up my mask.

Anyway, let’s see how I’m doing with my resolutions!


1. Write a monthly serial story (Succeeding)

The hardest part about this year’s serial story is not writing ahead. Currently, as of this writing, dealing with carpal tunnel, that might not be a problem. Read from the beginning of the Aetherverse.

2. Write Guise and Dolls Faymous with Jen (Success)

This went famously (haha). I loved writing this story and I’m glad that it’s now vacated that part of my brain that it’s been occupying for the past decade. Unfortunately, a spin-off series has decided to move in.

3. Finish Copper Tarnish (Pending)

Pending health, I have no idea how this is going to go. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it, but if not, I’m not going to risk injuring myself worse over it.

4. Write book 3 of The Gates of Westmeath with Jen (Pending)

Unlike Copper Tarnish, this book starts from scratch/random jot notes, and won’t need heavy line-editing before I start, so I should be able to do this one with dictation software. I hope.

5. Keep Working on FADDS (Succeeding)

I created an entire ridiculously complex module for mixing components that was just way too much. So, I remade it in a simpler way and it seems to be working really well. I’m continuing to tweak and add more monsters as I go. Mostly, I’m just having fun with the system and my players.

JenEric Designs and Coffee

6. Ensure 5+ days of updates (Succeeding)

You may be sensing a theme, but depending on health issues, we may be dropping to four days a week, but not yet, and I don’t know. So we’ll see.

7. Write a movie review each week (Succeeding)

So far, so good. I might need to create a template to copy-paste to make my life easier.

8. Design and release a new flavour and redesign Green Apple (Pending)

Ottawa ComicCon is happening in September. This one will depend on how my health is. It’s not the highest priority; that will be roasting and packing ComicCon levels of coffee.


9. Read 5 Books (Pending)

Other than books that I’ve written or that Jen wrote, I’m a little behind on this. As in, halfway through the first book. But for some reason, I forsee having more chances to read (if Jen will let me).

10. Be More Patient (shrug)

Honestly, I have no idea how I’m doing on this one. I do know that I’m a terrible injured/sick person. Feeling like I’m letting people down makes me grumpy.

11. Don’t over stress (Failing)

I have developed tools to help me de-stress. Playing ukulele, reading, writing, playing video games, and cooking. The only one of those that I can currently do without hurting myself is reading. Let’s hope this dictation software works and doesn’t add to the stress.

My work is also irrationally pushing a return to the office and that’s still causing lots of stress with an unvaccinated toddler. HURRY THE F UP, HEALTH CANADA!

12. Practice bass or ukulele 2-3 times a week (Failing)

I was doing well with this. I even memorized the Spider-man theme on the bass and wrote a song for the ukulele. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do this for a while.

The good news, I haven’t utterly failed at anything yet and I have a few Successes.

I’m going to take that as a positive and just do what I can for the rest of the year.

How are your resolutions going?


Semi-Coherent Ramblings

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Last night, between Pegasus waking up several times (it’s been a while since he’s done that), insomnia, stress dream, and a couple of days of really bad allergies; I didn’t sleep well.

I’m a little grumpy today. Mumble mumble mumble. So I apologize for today’s disjointed post and possible incoherence.

Jen and I’s newest work in progess is going well. I love being able to plan and geek out about stuff with her as we write. Even if it means we don’t get to bed at anything related to a reasonable hour. I’m planning on writing a song for it and I’m terrified I’ll screw it up.

I read up on the plot, deaths, and story of the new Doctor Strange movie and I have to say it sounds pretty tedious. I loved WandaVision and from what I’ve read, it undoes a lot of the character progression of Wanda and falls into the “hysterical woman” trope that Marvel comics love so much. It’s a good thing Marvel releases so many movies because there are more and more of them that I don’t like.

I’m just waiting for a large bag of dirt that comes in on Friday and I’ll be able to plant my garden. Every year I say I won’t garden, and every year I do. I love the idea of growing my own food. Unfortunately, I only have a green thumb with the help of a marker.

Shamelessly cute photo of the kids.

Jen and I are prepping two manuscripts for submission and it’s a little stressful, but fun. Both are related to Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers (Pre-orders now open at your local bookstores for September 15th) and that makes it awkward for our publisher. They have to judge the quality, but also have to decide if it’s financially worth publishing a sequel and story collection without having any sales data. You could make their decision easier by pre-ordering it. 🙂

I’m not good at this whole publicity thing. I need to improve my ability to get people interested about my books. They are awesome, but if you don’t read them, how do you know you want to read them? Jen has all sorts of exciting ideas that are great.

I think I’ve rambled enough for today.

Stay safe and be kind,


Magic Key?

Dear Readers,

Here’s a conversation my kids had yesterday. Reminder that Pegasus is two and Dragon is five.

Pegasus: I want a cupcake.

Me: *Clears throat agressively*

Dragon: What’s the magic key?

Pegasus: Magic key?

Me: She means say please.

Pegasus: Please can I have the magic key?

Me: No, say please for the cupcake.

Pegasus: Please for cupcake. *I give him a cupcake* Where’s magic key?

Me: She meant magic word, which is please.

Dragon: The magic key is please.

Pegasus: Can I have magic key please?

Me: There is no key, it’s a word.

Pegasus: What’s magic word?

Me: Please.

Pegasus: *Confused* Can I have magic key please?

Dragon: *Mimes handing him a key* Here you go.

Pegasus: Yay! Magic key!

Me: *Throws hands in the air* Eat your cupcake please.

Some days I feel like an extra in Who’s on First.

Hope that made you smile.

Stay safe and be kind,


Those Other Books I Make

Hello My imaginary Friends,

For the past 5 years, I’ve been creating books that you can’t read.

Don’t worry, they’re not fiction or that semi-autobiographical Dinosaur Road Trip. (I should work on that again… maybe.)

Every year I make photobooks of the Dragon and now of Pegasus.

It feels extra, but we take roughly 2500 photos of the kids a year and we rarely go look at the digital albums. It’s nice to go pull out the books. It’s like the old photo albums, but without the fading.

So every year I make a copy of the pictures and sort through them and eliminate them until I have 200-250 for each kid and I create a photobook through Costco. It takes a long time. Actually, every year I swear I’ll start earlier or maybe just let a software do it for me, but I can’t do that.

So I’m proud to say that my first two books of the year are printed and published. Yay!

It’s a good thing they’re cute.

Now to write a story that has been percolating for over 13 years. It started as a dream that Jen had and I came up with a basic plot. Over the years it’s changed a lot, but now it’s time to get it written, and since it was Jen’s dream, she’s going to help me.

We’ve planned and plotted and now I’m going to go write.

Stay safe and be kind,