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Pab Sungenis

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 9,612

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Tweet from August J. Pollak


"I demand copies of Andrew Brietbart's long form death certificate."
Posted by Pab Sungenis | Thu Mar 1, 2012, 09:46 AM (0 replies)

I come to bury Breitbart, not to praise him.

They say not to speak ill of the dead. That's very hard to do in the case of someone like Andrew Breitbart, since he made his career of off saying nothing but ill of other people.

Andrew Breitbart was a petty little man who used lies, distortions, and a well-funded media megaphone to make people's lives miserable. He was a megalomaniac who destroyed the lives of many people, both public and private figures.

My sympathies to his loved ones. There must have been some aspects of him that you saw that we did not. I hope you make these facets known in the coming days. And I hope that he may finally find the peace that he denied so many others at long last.

Help me brainstorm something.

When I started writing my novel The Sidekick (coming March, 2013, from Month 9 Books -- how good it feels to say that) I wanted my hero to be a High School Senior trying to get into college. I also wanted his foster father to have been recently killed, setting the plot into motion. I didn't want to bother much with having him deal with CPS or DYFS as a result of this, so the easiest answer to it was to start the book on his 18th birthday.

Now my publisher wants the protagonist to be 17 in the first novel and 19 in the sequel I never even dreamed of writing.

I'm not philosophically opposed to having him only be 17, and since the kid is reasonably bright I could always use the "skipped a grade" excuse if needed. Likewise, I could have used the "held back" trope if needed to have him graduating late. But what I can't find my way around is having a minor, even a 17 year old, just left on his own by the state and the school system.

So here are some questions:

(1) The novel starts in January, just as kids are coming back from winter break. It opens with our protagonist at his foster father's funeral on his birthday. For various reasons I would rather not move his birthday or the funeral. I like having both be happening at the same time and the "trying to get into college" subplot works best in that current time frame. For a January birth, at what age would an average kid graduate from High School nowadays? 17 or 18?

(2) Is there any conceivable way for a 17 year old whose long-term foster father has died to be emancipated easily, quickly, and painlessly? Help me figure out a way.

Of course, this is a superhero novel aimed at young adults so it doesn't need to be so horribly close to reality, but I'd at least like it to be plausible.


Help me get two of the "Queen Victoria" books back into print! (a Kickstarter project)



Since November of 2006, I have published collected editions of my daily comic strip, "The New Adventures of Queen Victoria." This has always been done at my own expense, largely for the fans of the strip and so I will have something to take around with me to comic conventions.

In recent weeks I finally ran out of copies of the fourth collection, "Suffragettes Gone Wild!" Also, "Meet The Royals" (the omnibus edition reprinting the first three collections) has only ever had short print runs to fill online orders and to give me a few copies to take along with me as I go to cons.

Since I hope to greatly expand my convention schedule this year (I've already scheduled for cons in Chicago and Asbury Park, NJ, and am working on appearances in Louisville, Baltimore, and Toronto) I need to get these two books back into print as fast as possible. I'd also like to get "Meet The Royals" a proper, professional print run instead of the bargain-basement discount short runs I've had to do up to this point for a book that thick.

Reprinting "Suffragettes Gone Wild!" will cost me a little over $350.00. A full print run for "Meet The Royals" will add another $640.00 onto that. Then factoring in shipping, costs of premiums, and credit card fees brings me to just about $1,300.00 total for the two books. I don't want to be greedy, so that's what I'm asking for.

With these two books out of print, it means that the first four years of the strip are no longer available in hard copy form. Please help me remedy this by sponsoring their long-overdue second printings.

I'm offering a number of interesting premiums, ranging from doodles on postcards from my stops on the convention circuit to a chance to appear in the strip yourself. Go take a look and help me get my books back into print.

The words we all hope to hear...

Thank you for allowing me to read THE SIDEKICK by Pab Sungenis. I absolutely love the story, and can see the title doing well as a 2-3 book series. As such, I'd like to offer you a deal for the publication of THE SIDEKICK and its sequel for release in March 2013 and 2014 respectively. I am attaching a deal memo. If you agree, please sign and send to me via PDF. I will sign and return a fully executed copy. Once we agree on the basics, I will forward a formal agreement (generally 4-6 weeks). In the interim, editing on THE SIDEKICK and marketing ramp up will begin, as will cover design and promotion.

Still need to find a lawyer to look over the deal memo and hopefully an agent to undertake the negotiations.

Mitt My Dad Says

From https://twitter.com/#!/MittMyDadSays

Willard Romney @MittMyDadSays Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom.

Willard Romney @MittMyDadSays I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world’s getting warmer.

Willard Romney @MittMyDadSays My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet.

Willard Romney @MittMyDadSays I know what it's like to worry whether you're going to get fired.

Willard Romney @MittMyDadSays Don't try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.

A couple more at the link.

My great-grandmother was a Nazi.

Something for you to think about today: my great-grandmother Katherine was a Nazi.

I don't mean that in today's watered-down overblown rhetorical sense, either. My great-grandmother was an actual Nazi. She immigrated from Germany with her family in the 1880's but always stayed in touch with other family members in the Fatherland and kept up on issues.

She was an anti-Semite. She supported Hitler. She was a member of the German-American Bund. Even though she was loyal to America after we entered World War II, she never changed her underlying beliefs and until she died in the 1970's she insisted that Hitler was right.

Now let's move on to my grandmother, her daughter Elizabeth.

My grandmother went to work as a secretary for a Jewish egg farmer who went on to win a seat in Congress. She planted trees in Israel shortly after that country came into being. After her father died in the 1960's she built a small bungalow for her mother on a part of the property she owned with her husband and arranged the sale of the old family farm to an Austrian Jew who had been in the Camps.

She was the kindest, gentlest, person you could ever imagine. And she was the person who had the least trouble accepting my homosexuality or the fact that I'd partnered up with a Jew. (She only disliked him because, like her, he talked too much.)

The lesson is that the sins of the father are not the sins of the sons. What matters most is not how you are raised, but what happens to you when you go out into the world yourself and start to think for yourself.

The Faggot Penalty, or, how DOMA and the IRS conspire to screw you

I remember back in the 1990's when the Republicans were whining and moaning about what they called "The Marriage Penalty," where married couples supposedly paid more in taxes.

Well once again this year, my husband and I find ourselves on the short end of the stick tax-wise. But it's not "The Marriage Penalty" that's shafting us, it's "The Faggot Penalty," one of the nasty side-effects of DOMA that doesn't get nearly enough publicity. If you're in a same-sex relationship, you're probably paying too much in Federal taxes and you might not even know it.

Here's how I first became aware of the Faggot Penalty: in 2007 Bryan and I made our relationship official in the eyes of the state, almost as soon as we could under the just-passed Civil Union law. The only reason we didn't register and have the ceremony performed on the first day it was legal was because we decided to hold back a couple of months, invite friends, and make our relationship as legal as we were allowed to do under the law on what we considered our 15th Anniversary.

When the time came to do our income taxes the following year, we had a bit of a surprise. Under New Jersey law we were married and required to file taxes as such, but Federally we didn't have that option. Since New Jersey's tax forms copy information off of the Federal return, this forced us to do five Federal returns instead of the two (or one, if filing jointly) that we would normally do. We had to do the two Federal returns, plus "theoretical" Federal returns for married filing jointly and two married filing separately. Then we could use those theoretical returns to do three State returns to figure out which option would be the best way to file.

A lot of extra work? Yes, but that's not the big problem. The big problem started when we actually started looking at those theoretical Federal returns to see what we would have ended up paying if DOMA wasn't in existence and the IRS would have to recognize us as a married couple. The bottom lines are shocking.

I'll use our 2011 tax returns, which we just finished and filed over the weekend, as an example because the figures are still fresh in my head. For 2011 my Federal tax refund is $468.00. Bryan's is $212.00. But when we calculated our "theoretical" Federal return for the state, we discovered that if it weren't for DOMA we'd be getting a Federal refund of $1,909.00.

That's right. If the Federal Government would recognize our Civil Union as a valid relationship, our taxes for the year would have been $1,229.00 less.

If you get a chance while doing your taxes (and you have time to kill and are a bit masochistic) try preparing theoretical Federal returns for yourself and your partner if you were allowed to be recognized as married. In a lot of relationships that mirror "traditional" marriages where one person is the main breadwinner, you'll find that you're paying considerably more in Federal taxes than you would be if your civil union or same-sex marriage was recognized Federally.

Always remember: we're not only treated like second class citizens, but we're charged more for the privilege.
Posted by Pab Sungenis | Mon Feb 6, 2012, 12:15 PM (9 replies)
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