Exercising Your Mind

I like tinkering with ideas. I like curiosities.

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DMP Update (December 29, 2016)

Hey all,

So I’ve been working on the Department for Mutated Persons this holiday week, and I know there hasn’t been an update since Christmas Eve. Maybe you’re chomping at the bit, or maybe you forgot about the Depart for whats-its. Either way, I’ve been working on Chapter 6, but also working on the end of the book. I’ve had a real breakthrough for how I want the first book to end (yes, the first one!). I decided I wanted to break the narrative into two books because of how the story flows, and what I want to do with the second half just didn’t make sense to be in the same book as far as themes and characters were concerned.

So far this story has been unfolding as I write it. I haven’t made much of an outline, which is not something I normally do; but I wanted to get this first draft out in front of your lovely faces instead of procrastinating. That means the story will evolve over time, and you have the ability to change it with me. So if you have any suggestions for the future of the story, you can comment below, tweet me (@robfike), message me, or email me. Any feedback is crucial to making this the best it can be.

This is also a YA fiction work, which means I want as many middle, high school and college people to see it as possible. I want to know how you guys feel about it: what’s missing? what’s great?

Thanks for sticking with me thus far, and I hope I give you the excitement you were wanting out of this read.

My best,



Thanks, Timmy.

I was going on 13 and living in a small suburb near Joliet, IL. The Chicago Bulls were in the middle of a dominant second three peat, and I had the audacity to be a Spurs fan.

The Bulls finished the 96-97 season a blistering 69-13. The Spurs? 20-62. I was on the cusp of junior high and my team, the team of my father, was 20-62. The kids at school mocked me as his airness hoisted another trophy.

This was the tumultuous summer that I was introduced to Timothy Duncan.

While the Spurs (and my family) endured one of the worst seasons we can remember, Coach Pop was eyeing a senior at Wake Forest who had traded in a swimming pool for a basketball.

I remember how excited we were when his name was called. He immediately changed the landscape of the Western conference. We only had to deal with one more Bulls championship and then it happened: the Larry O’Brien came to San Antonio. I was still living an hour south of Chicago, but I felt in tune with my birthplace that summer of 1999. And I knew someday I would live  there again.

Fast forward to 2016. I’m married. I’m a parent. And I’m writing this from San Antonio, and the Spurs have just raised Tim Duncan’s jersey.

Five NBA championships. 2 NBA MVP awards. 3 finals MVPs. A shower of accolades for the player that defined a 20 year period of my life.

Tim has been a role model in my adolescence. He shaped what it meant to be a champion for me. Humble. Determined. Kind. He was the apex of teammates, a reminder of the fruit of selflessness: victory and success.

I owe Tim Duncan for a handful of wonderful memories and gratitude for showing me what a true leader looks like in sports. There are so few truly humble role models on the court, and Tim was one of them. He was THE role model.

So thanks, Tim. Enjoy your retirement.

Our World Now

So we filled our cups to the brim with hatred. And we cast ignorance upon you if you didn’t agree. And with any misstep we wouldn’t bury you, but you felt six feet under. We’d take your job, your reputation, and – if an apology was granted – your soul as well. And you would be the cautionary tale that we would spin cycle in our 24 hour news coverage. And the pundits would bemoan your mistake, and assassinate your character, and impugn your very existence. Because we were right, and we always would be. And you would be wrong, and you would be evil, a relic of an ancient past full of pagan ritual and superstition.


Dealing with a lot of transitions lately. I just finished the rough manuscript of my first
novel, so I’m transitioning into the edit process; and it’s proving to be a pain the ass.

written-byMy birthday is on the 20th, so I will be transitioning to age 32, which is just what it is at this point. Birthdays lack the excitement they use to. Probably because I only ask for the essentials from my folks anymore (“Can I get a grocery store gift card? Maybe Amazon? We need groceries… I need to order diapers…)

I am graduating from college in December, but with a full time job already (the same one I’ve held for 10 years) that transition doesn’t seem to be affecting me like it should. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be finishing my Bachelor’s degree in History, but it feels more

You get me, Frodo.

like a tedious end to an obscenely long journey. It feels a bit like Frodo at the end of Return of the King; I just want it to be over already (so stop fading to black!).



I also just transitioned into fatherhood (you can follow me on Instagram @dafiker to see how that’s going – be warned: cuteness). It’s a rewarding experience, full of sleepless days and nights. It’s probably the most profound transition I’ve faced in my life, even more so than the transition into adulthood. Priorities change drastically. My mind seems to be hardwired for this change, as it appears completely out of my control. So, sorry I haven’t been writing in this blog lately (Oh, I forgot you don’t read it.), but I’ve been preoccupied with doctor visits, poops, sleeps (hers, not mine), and all the little intricacies of a newborn’s life.

If you are interested in seeing what my book will be, you can keep tabs on me by subscribing to this blog. But let’s not kid ourselves: you probably stopped reading this already and are looking at the baby pictures.