Books I Read?

In the week before the first short story launches, I thought I would post some of my recommendations for other pieces to read. Now, to not delve into a rabbit hole, I am sticking to one book per author (in cases I love more, I will simply let you know what to read.) and I will also be keeping graphic novels and comic books to myself. There is just simply too many to list, and I do not feel like creating a war around fandoms. I simply do not know enough myself to justify why I would stick to one name or publisher over another. This does not even mention having to dive into the hundreds, if not thousands, of different issues.

1984 by George Orwell
I am going to start this list off with a classic that people have either read, or know out of its impression on the world, as a whole. The description of this horrible world that is too close to the one we live in now is what attracted me to this book. It describes things in our modern world almost too well considering that it was written over 50 years ago. Details are verseral and almost disgusting, but the book always maintains a glimmer of innocence. Please note that I said innocence and not hope. There is little to no hope in the world that is constructed by George Orwell. I love this book.

jPod by Douglas Coupland
Hilarious in the most bizarre way. The book follows a collection of programers at a video game studio based in Vancouver, Canada. With that said, the location does not actually matter all that much, the tale focuses more on the strange, yet relatable, experiences of one member of the tea, n particular.Pot, lesbians, and normality is the bread and butter of this tale, and if that does not even skim the surface of what is in this strange tale.

Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
My favourite book, by far. I cannot go too far into spacifics without giving away parts of the plot, because it is hard to pinpoint what exactly is a spoiler. Maybe it is because I know the ending I am saying that, but it is one of those tales that you can figure everything out in the first 100 pages, if you are really good. Disgustng, beautiful, demented, hilarious: this book has everything. I want to recommend it to people who enjoyed Fight Club, but it belongs in Sci-Fi just as much as any other genre.

Wheel of Time by Brandon Sanderson
Fantasty. Next!

Okay, I will put a little effort into this. Think Lord of the Rings without being so impenetrable. It is a series, but it is good enough to keep reading past the first book, yet light enough to make it feel like you are not wasting braincells on trivial details and non-sense. No offence to LOTR fans, I love those book. I am most saying that if you like LOTR, you should have already read these books. If you did NOT like LOTR, I get it: reading those can feel like a never ending slog to figure everything out. Especially when you finish the main trilogy, find out and read the Hobbit, the realize the Silmarillion exists, then the extended universe created by the games and movies…

***

Oh, there are many more, but none stick out like these. This post was inspired by To the Salt of the Sea. She publises some amazing works and I am a huge fan of her. Show her some love, tell her I sent you.

Also, remember that I am publishing a short story on the first, as well as announcing the next piece. Without saying too much, I can say that it is amazing. As soon as I have the first bit fixed to where we are both happy, I will be posting a sampler for you to see.

NEWS ABOUT YOU’RE NOT DEAD
As I was writing this, I got word that it has been two years since I released my first book! With the contract I signed, physical copies will no longer be pressed as of the fifth of July. Digital copies will always be around.

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Ableism : Social v. Institutional

I got about 200 words deep into this topic, when I decided to look back at my catalogue to see if I had done something like this before. I had. I feel silly.

One thing that I did not talk about (because I was not faced with it yet) are the fucking cabs in this city.

I, to those who did not realize, used to live in Hamilton. Now, I live in Burlington. You can actually see Hamilton downtown from my living room window if you can look past all the buildings.

It’s behind Ikea.

What I did not and could never expect was how different the cabs were. Regardless of time, Hamilton was there to make sure you had a wheelchair taxi at your disposal. Four AM or four PM, you were covered.

Burlington, on the other hand, almost pretends that people in wheelchairs do not exist after dark. Accessible cabs do not exist after eleven, forcing you just to give up and go to bed.

Stores have wheelchair ramps and doors, but it feels like it is out of obligation. Rooms are never designed to fit a chair, main door theshholds are always too large, and everything is horrible.

But, enough of me wincing on about that. What about political?

There are laws in place to protect people who find themselves, whether acute or not, in a wheelchair. Are they enforced? Fuck no. There are government buildings where automatic doors open the wrong way, there are a plethora of ramps that are to steep, and God Forbid you have multiple disabilities: the job market cannot handle it.

For example, I am paraplegic and epileptic. I have searched for a job. I wold love a job. My body is too unreliable. No, employers cannot discriminate about your disability here. They can find other avenues, however. They can stress the fact that you cannot leave your post until it is time, health condition be damned. They can point out pitfalls in layout and pose the question as “… but that will not be an issue, right?” The point is taken.

I fully admit that I have a limited scope in dealing with this kind of bull. Between knowing that I am the only disabled person in my building and knowing that, no matter how much I really want to, I cannot go back to my old job, my ego is fractured into one-thousand pieces.

….and do not get started on government assistance. I have had a right bitch of a time getting medical coverage for the two medications I need and STILL do not have any coverage.

What really hurts me, and I double checked that other article, is people who knew me before still assuming I could (at least half) do what I could before.

Or people who never knew me before assuming that I am using my disabilities as a kind of crutch.

Oh, there would be a special place in the afterlife for people like that, if one exists.

NOW THAT I HAVE GOTTEN THAT OFF MY CHEST!

anewsin Publishing is having its first release on the first of July. I have updated the Patreon to include an awesome perk that if you donate just $3 a month, you get the upcoming story early! I hope you like it!

Music :: Die Hexe

Between the quiet demise of Mind the Music TO and me just not talking about anything music related for a very long time, I feel like I have something missing. Like a part of me is incomplete.

I recently read over my review of Die Hexe’s first album and realized that I rated it highly, but really did not explain why I loved it. Why I found it one of the greatest albums I have had the pleasure of listening to.

I think a part of my reason for writing the review as I did was that I was just putting it bluntly. I constantly had the task of writing those reviews for an audience who did not know me from a hole in the wall, so I made my statements general and exact without going into long winded explanations and stories detailing why I felt the way I did.

I will now rectify that.

DIE HEXE :: ST EP

If my fist three paragraphs and long winded explanation for revisiting this piece of art was not enough reason, this is (without hyperbole) one of the greatest albums I have ever heard.

The EP starts with a perfectly orchestrated guitar feedback, then launches into chaos. I really reminds me of a strange cross between Counterparts’ Prophets and Buried Inside’s Chronoclast: Selected Essays On Times Reckoning And Auto-Cannibalism.

Now, with that said: it is absolutely nothing like either of those albums. It just reminds me of the same heavy emotional feel that they evoke. The best way of putting the feeling into words is being late for something important and everything is going wrong: that feeling of your heart beating hard with every passing moment. The need, not just feeling, to scream along with the words even if you don’t know what they are.

Now, take that high stress feeling, and puncuate it with absolute bliss and a calm that can only be experianced in music.Yeah, that feeling.

Yes, this is a metal/hardcore album. That should not disuade fans of lighter music to at least expeience it. That is exactly what this album is: an experience. The emotional rolling coaster one feels as the tracks seemlessly bleed into one another is pure extacy.

I think my favourite part about this album is that it is never showy. There are no traditional solo’s. There is a lead guitar part in Long Live the New Flesh, but it is more of a lead than a solo.

Yeah, if you havn’t noticed, I fucking love this album. I want this band to get the recognition they deserve. Please, do yourself a favour and listen to it. I never push listening to the whole thing. Usually the first couple of songs give you enough to go on. I will not go that way with this album: PLEASE LISTEN TO THE WHOLE THING. Every song is beautiful. Every emotion is felt in full.

This is where I justify how this recording reminds me of death. I mean, I could do the whole pretentious breakdown how it starts running, mildly slows down,  and ends with my third favourite crescendo ending, only to be topped by Cursive’s Domestia and Sparta’s Wiretaps & Scars, but I will leave that description to you.

Seriously, float them a few dolllars for the album, check them out on FaceBook, and remember that I love them to no end.

Just a friendly reminder that I will be releasing the first of anewsin Publications on the first.. The story is called “Elaine” and I am very excited to hear what everyone thinks. There is a .sample available if you want to read what is coming up. If reception is okay, there will be another story in September. I am working on November’s release already, and my good friend Hannah has something set up for September (more information on that soon). Please, support me on Patreon to help me get through life.

<3

No News is Good News?

As the title implies, I have been up to very little this week. Mostly writing, and editing, for my new project.

I am pretty sure that I have the first story (called Elaine) complete to satisfactory. Please, join the Patreon for a subscription, and look into the explanations page if you are an aspiring writer!

Oh: and happy June!

Special thank you to my personal Patrons! With there help, I am able to afford to keep this site up another year!

I have nothing else to report for this update, so I will leave you with an album you need in your life. Die Hexe is by far one of, if not the greatest bands I found through MtM. Give it a listen. Let me know what you think!

UPDATE A FEW DAYS LATER!

I have already given up on doing the publication thing the way I was gearing up for. There was just one or two text-based supporters and just one person even signed up for it. Between that and the fact that I could not make the price of signing up lower than a dollar, I decided to shut it down.

This brings good news to everyone, though! I am going to be going ahead with releasing a new story every couple of months! There are more details on my Patreon, but I am going to be posting them here. For now, it will be instead of a regular blog. I have updated my Patreon to include new goals related to that, as well as a goal to help me afford my medication every month.

Have I mentioned recently how much I love you? The people who frequent this site are instrumental in giving me a reason to do something/anything with myself. The Patreon supporters are fantastic as well, for letting me afford to do this. You get love, also!

two in a month!?! & NEWS GLORIOUS NEWS!

I am terrible at multitasking. I am launching something new next week, so my focus has been there. I am sorry, I will do regular updates starting a week from today. I promise.

REAL UPDATE!

As I stated above: I have been crafting something that I am very excited to bring to the world!

anewsin Publishing is the name of the new project! Basically, a dollar every month gets a subscription of sorts!

By e-mail, you will receive a PDF of a short story by an unpublished author. Most stories will be shorter in length, but they will be excellent! Check out the Patreon for more information and a way to subscribe!

Some music for you! I have been binging The Flaming Lips as of late. I am not quite sure why. I really recommend this song.

I blew my metaphorical load early. I hope you do not mind. If you ARE interested, but unsure of what kind of content to expect, there is a file uploaded where you get the intro to the new work.

…a sample of what’s to come

I am just going to spoil the surprise now, mostly because I think I have things set up and I want to gauge interest.

anewsin Publications is the new project I have set up. I am looking for short stories to share. There is not a theme or genre, but I do want stories that are between 1000 and 10,000 words long.

The contract can be found on the here along with the schedule of releases for the year. If you cannot figure out how to write in an e-signature, I probably did it wrong, and I will accept changing the file to your name.

You can get the first few words of my new project here.

what have i done?

I have rewritten You’re Not Dead for the re-issue due this year. Friessen Press has this thing where you have to pay for re-issue for hard release every two years. I understand it, but, fuck me, is it worth it?

I’m going to go with a ‘yes’ on that question. Like I mentioned, I have rewritten much of it. Most of which was editing grammar mistakes missed by the editor. Some of it was fixing continuity. It was fucking hard having to reread bits and relive other bits. Especially because I am adding an afterwards.

To be clear, my epilepsy has been since day one in the hospital. To ignore it is to ignore part of what the story is trying to tell. The only problem is that it fucks with the timeline by several years. My initial plan was to just highlight what I went through in the ten months, but to truly tell the story I am trying to tell, I have to push everything to nearly 3 years later. I am worried that it is going to get off topic. My worst fear is that it will come off as ramble-y. Check that: more ramble-y that it already was.

Other interesting note: I am sorry to anyone who got a copy in the state that it was in. I have found so many bloody stupid mistakes that I cannot even blame on epilepsy. Mistakes like using the wrong ‘their’ or talking about hw the Hero walks to the car, opens the door, then finishes his coffee and makes his way to the car.

Yes, I know it was my first attempt at writing. I know that I have no clue what I am doing. Yet, I cannot shake the feeling that I am a COMPLETE FUCKING MORON at times.

ON A FUN SIDE-NOTE THAT FINISHING OFF CALLING MYSELF AN ILLITERATE MORON!

I started planning my second book. I had a talk with my publicist. I mentioned how I am terrible at writing one long narrative and find it much easier and I have more fun writing short 1000 word stories. He thought that I should consider releasing a book of short stories for my next project. After finding old story prompts that I wrote back in high school, I can say that I am actually excited to start a venture into this plan!

I have updated my Patreon so a small monthly donation of $5 will guarantee that every two months you will receive a PDF containing whatever I am working on next. Please, consider giving to that. It will help me feed the animals, pay my rent, and make sure this blog stays open. I would love to thank the donators I have had so far. Without them, you would not be able to see this update.

This weeks recommended listening is Chon. Lovely four-piece that combines metal and jazz. I am probably going to be yelled at for putting it that way, but I do not really know how else to describe it. Musicians will cry, everyone else will be swooned by the beautiful sounds.

update; most . of what I talk about above is no longer relevant. More news in the coming weeks

~LOOKING FOR WRITERS

I have an idea for a digital magazine that would be subscription based. It would take writing from authors and payment would be a percent of the monthly subscription amount. Is there anyone that would be interested in that? E-mail me, and we’ll talk. (it you have better ideas, I’m all ears. I just came up with this idea today)

 

E-Mail is jygrdn(at)gmail(dot)com

Again?

Yeah, it happened again. I forgot to get a blog ready until the last moment possible. I am not going to post a half update, and I am not going to do anything just to fill space, so this beg for forgiveness is what I am going to do.

I swear: next week I will do something worth your time.

…you will die.

I posed a question to my Facebook the other day: if you had to hear one song and then you died, what would it be?

I never really put any further explanation, nor have I voiced my personal choice. I was just curious how many replies I would get, and what kind of songs people would post.

I found the results of the pole confusing. Granted, I never made it explicit what the circumstances of your death would be. Maybe that is why I found the answers so confounding.

The rules are that once the song ends, you will die immediately. What I had in mind was a gunshot or massive heart attack. This would ensure that there would be no way to recover or survive, and the final song that played would follow you into the void.

I had some interesting replies. One fellow thought that he would break my game and just go with the Song that Doesn’t End (you’re welcome for that link) and from that point he would live forever. With the parameters I placed on the question, I fully understand why he went this way. To him, my official reply is: well played, sir. Well played. Enjoy that song following you around for the remainder of all time.

The other big reply that I got was Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Though, that song is amazing, it is so long. You would be dwelling on the fact that you are going to die for the entire 5:55 that the song goes on for. I do not know about you, but for the almost six minuets it is playing, I would not be able to enjoy it. I would just be cringing and counting until my demise.

That is why my choice would be Mother Night Revisited by Premonitions of War. The song is stupid short (1:21) and it is busy, loud, and distracting. The cacophony it creates would drown out my thoughts of my impending demise and it ends abruptly, not giving me any time to dwell on the fact that it is ending.

Maybe I am just biased, but I want to just cease living, not contemplate my entire life throughout my favourite song.

AMENDMENT:

Well, amendment is a strong word for the situation. More like another idea, or concept, that I would like to share because it is so cool!

The album Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie is one of my favourites of all time. It is dark, cynical, honest, and beautiful. One thing that it does (in the most sneaky way) is open with a machine sound. The album plays and that machine sound seems to stop. Where it gets really cool is that the sound does not actually stop, or even change volume. The sound hovers in the back. It is not fully noticeable again until the very last song where the guitar and vocals clear for a moment to revel that it has been there the entire time. Until then, one may not notice just how invasive the sound has been through the entire album.

Then: it stops.

The album ends, therefore the sound ends. Actually, if you wish to get petty, the sound ends one second before the album does. The silence is deafening. At that moment, you are left to reminisce on every word that was sang up until that point.

I am pretty sure that it was not intentional, but it beautifully demonstrates my view on death. Everything ends abruptly and there is nothing.

Fuck, that sounds bleak.

ANYWAY: I am curious. Please, let me know in the comments what song you would like to die to immediately preceding. Do you have a reason for the choice? What is your take on my choice?