…and I’m back.

So that break was not as long or as dire as I thought it was going to be. I moved, yet again, and did not have my computer monitor for a very long time. My dad wanted me to use a TV as a monitor, but I explained to him that the brain damage I have is on my optic nerve and I cannot focus on a screen that big. He understood; and after almost a week of searching through boxes, as well as literally building parts of the house, we found it! Now I can regale you with tales from the parts of Ontario that people don’t even drive through!

I have been holding back a little bit: I still have to finalize some bits for health care, and I alluded to the fact that I have not written anything for the last week. The health care stuff I am in a bit of a holding pattern until tomorrow (the 20th of October) because I have a meeting with a social worker. I want to see if I can figure out some personal stuff before I start sweating the little things I.E. my health. I am greatly excited to see if I can do some sort of non-profit stuff out this way, as I might be the only 30 year old in a wheelchair who hasn’t lost a limb. My unease in saying that dictates how hidden that issue is, and I am very excited to explore and assist where I can.

As far as music and I go, I think we part ways for now. At least until I get a more reliable and faster internet connection. The fact that my upload speed is under 3mb/s is mildly embarrassing. Yes, download speeds are a bit better, but I have scripts and recorded dialogue and audio-fun that I want to share with the world! At least we have something here.

Hiccup

I just moved again. I cannot find my monitor.

Sure: I could use my TV, but focusing on text is too difficult on a screen that big.

(My eyes are annoying)

I’m writing this short blog post from my phone, which is not good for my usual ramblings. Links on this though possible, are annoying to implement.

My humble ask is that you come back when I have everything set to continue, again. I miss writing, in every capacity.

A big plus for the break is that I figured out a plot issue with my book (in regards of how to fix it). Reminder that if you want your name in the Thank You section, donate to my Patreon. The help would be much appreciated!

The Mistake…?

I was on fire the other day.

I got writing my next book, and had this strike of inspiration! I have been sitting around 5000 words for the last couple of months: I knew where I wanted to go, just not how to get there. I had figured it out the other day, though. My Glob, I had figured it out!

I had a very sterile ending, that works brilliantly. Jay sandard, which translates to “everything you just read was so much worse for the character than you originally believed”. I had this one event that I wanted to happen. I showed it to the beautiful Patrick, and he pointed out how there was no compassion on the side of the reader. Basically, I had this avatar get shot and no one should care.

Initially, I was a little indignant. I have always, and probably will always, believe a story should be more a snapshot of an event rather than a retrace of past events that have little bearing on said event. I got thinking about Pat’s comment in this context, though. I started to realize that he was more correct than I wanted.

After penciling ideas out for a month, I finally had an idea of where I wanted to go. So, on Monday, I put down 2000 or so words. Tuesday, I heard the sirens call and wrote another 1000ish words. Wednesday, I was on fire and wrote nearly 5000 words. Yesterday, being Thursday, October 1st, I read over the fruits of my labour. That day was the first day that I didn’t have new ideas, and I was happy to just reflect.

Imagine my horror when I read the same chapter (with variations, minor but there were some) three times. I spent the next few hours stunned into silence. I had not started my music before I started reading, and I was between YouTube videos. There I was, staring at the horrible mistake I had made.

I was floored. I was upset. Hours upon hours of work would have to be destroyed. They were too similar and time sensitive to use again in the narrative, which means I couldn’t even recycle them for “the next day” or something like that. They were useless.

IF ONLY MY STORY WAS ABOUT THE DELICATE NATURE OF TIME AND SUDJESTION!

Oh wait, it is!
Without giving too much away, I am going to try to make them work as recursion as a hint for the reader that everything is wrong. I started a plot-progression tree to try to keep track. It’s already intimidatingly large.

If this works the way I think it might, this will be amazing.

Now to drink all the coffee ever in celebration!

Oh: I’m moving on Wednesday. There may be a little hiccup in updates, and if you want to come by for a visit, do so now. I’m moving 5 hours away and though everyone is welcome to come over to visit, it will be a bit far.

I’m Terrible

Hey. I got a new chair Thursday. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I have been busy.

I’m working on a new PodCast surrounding the concept of artist hating their own work. I got feedback on my FaceBook. I have a mild script this time, so I keep my thoughts in a somewhat organized fashion. I feel pretty optimistic about this one. Mind you, I thought that about the last one, and I have only had eight views on YouTube at the time of writing this. I will not say that it is because of poor production, not enough responses to blame everything on that.

I digress.

I have been writing a pretty torrent, as of late. I am expanding Martha. to be a full story, and the couple of people I have had read it over really enjoy what I’m doing with the plot! To make it even better, I am having such fun delving into that world. I have been writing the tale since May, so I am not happy with the 5438 words that so far. I had planned on doing 1000 words per month, so I am close to my target. I want to start shopping it out after I finish. I don’t plan on having someone bite; but if I continue this direction, I think it will have a better chance than some. I really like it, and I hope you do to!

My strange quiet for the past month? We’re moving again. Well, for my wife and I it’s again. For my parents, it’s the first time in 25 years. The cacophony surrounding everything keeps my mind very busy, and I am going to attatch myself to that premise as to why I have not been around as much.

OH! Here’s the new chair!

Dear J.K. Rowling…

I write this with little surprise at your ignorance. I was surprised that people were surprised, and a part of me thinks that you should crawl into a hole and die. You have made literal millions off Harry Potter, but somehow your person remains a talking point. Somehow, you are still relevant.

My association with Mrs. Rowling is very much the standard: Harry and I were pretty much the same age, and I read the books with much fervor in my youth. Well, in the sake of being totally truthful, I read the first five. I found them a bit meandering near the end. I am well aware that is not popular opinion, and I hear they were very good. I just moved from Harry Potter to Wheel of Time when I hit high school.

The reason for my dismissal of J.K. Rowling as a vocal piece is simply because she was never supposed to have a political agenda. In my life, she wrote a story that was important at the time, and I grew out of her influence very quickly. I do have friends, a good deal many friends if my FaceBook newsfeed is to be believed, who saw her books as a learning tool: a guide to reality, for lack of a better term. I can see how they could be: the words were about a child going into a world that he doesn’t know. From that standpoint alone, her statements on being against trans-rights make no sense.

On a side note, I am just going to label “trans-rights” as human rights from now on. To delegate importance to one diminishes the other in my head. I am probably alone in feeling that, but it makes little sense to differentiate trans-right from human rights.

To marginalize a group based on something as non-intrusive to your life as sexuality on the distant-tails of you getting huge off of a book written about how a wizard needs to fit in after not knowing that wizards even exist makes no sense to me. What makes less sense is people’s reaction to said ignorance. Destroy your existing copies of the book? It will make NO impact on Rowling. She has already been paid by you buying the book in the first place. The best way to impact her would be to stay away from anything she publishes in the future as a kind of protest.

That is why none of this makes any sense to me. Maybe I’m just cynical, but if she ever wanted to sell another property successfully, she should just keep her comments private. She already uses a pen-name for properties that she wants separated from the HP universe. Therefore, I find it ironic that she did not think to voice such bigoted opinions under a pseudonym? To be fair, this is an age where (if the impact was big enough) the internet would find out. Counterpoint; it might take long enough to distance yourself from the backlash.

FOR ANY FOLLOWERS WHO DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT:

J.K. Rowling recently (a month or two before I started writing this) posted some horrible things about trans people on her Twitter. Today, I found a storefront that she set up with anti-trans paraphernalia and her stream of bigoted remarks is showing no signs of slowing down. No, I am not going to put links to the sites in question, or her Twitter remarks. If you want to find them, you can. I don’t want to give her the satisfaction of watching her visitor counters rise.

End point: I should almost thank you, J.K. Rowling. I have been trying to tell people you didn’t matter for the better part of a decade, and in the period of two months, you have convinced more people than I could have ever dreamed.

The Inevitable End

One day, maybe, I will write something happy. Or, at least recognized as happy by the general populace. I get quite a bit of comfort from topics like this. Knowing that I will die, just like everyone I know, gives me some comfort in knowing that I will do something seen as normal in my life.

What do I mean by ‘everyone dies’? Well, just that! I do not mean that in a defeatist or dower way: there is absolutely no point in giving up all because there is an end. That’s like watching a TV show all the way but not sitting through the last episode because then it ends. There is a difference between acknowledging an end and giving up to an end.

By giving up to an end, you are ending your life before you see the ending. It pains me to think of how many amazing things could have been accomplished if, let’s say Bob, just accepted that he would die and did that amazing thing. Bob, in this example, is a defeatist. He sees an end and, instead of doing something with the time he has left, lies down and gives up. He just remains a husk until his end. He will probably spend his last moments thinking about how he should have done so much more.

That is in contrast to, let’s call her, “Cindy”. She knows that she will die one day, and tries to make sure that the world is exactly the way she wants it. She creates art she wants to see. She does her part to fight injustice. She spends her last moments thinking about how she could have done more, but ultimately did as much as she could.

To abuse the old meme: Cindy is smart. Be like Cindy.

Death is an end. I’m not going to pretend that it’s not, and I’m not going to create a bunch of false platitudes. Regardless of whether you believe in Heaven, Hell, or reincarnation: you (the “you” that you are) does not exist anymore. There is nothing daunting or depressing about that fact. Everything ends, and death is the event that we all face. It gives meaning to us, as a species.

Neil Gaiman in his graphic novel The Sandman did a fantastic narrative arc where a man lived forever. He was visited over a period of 1000 years, and went through different stages of grief. Initially, he felt invincible. Then, he spoke of the horrors of having to bury everyone he loved. In the end, it showed how shallow and meaningless his life had become while he delved into a life of superficial attachment and arrogance. I read that story about a decade ago and it has become a crucial part of my outlook since that day.

I guess I should make an ultimate point after offloading a series of truths which may, or may not, disturb you. I really can only point out how now is all that matters, in the end. Yes, the world will continue. Lives will be lived and lost after you die. Social change like #BLM and the political stife hitting the USA right now are going to be around forever. I am being optimistic when I say that fewer than 10% of you reading this will actually change something, and not 1% will change everything. That does NOT mean you shouldn’t try. Total change starts with the masses. Don’t be afraid to be a face in the crowd. As a performer, I can attest that masses are important. Without an audience, there can be no change.

If you cannot be a creator of change, be the audience that wants it.

Depression

I am going to start this of with a warning. I don’t plan on getting too dower or bleak, but this is a very triggering topic for some. If you are someone who has a tendency to get upset by talk of suicide, depression, or the state of the world, consider this a warning and remember that I love you. Call a help-line, talk to a psychiatrist, or get hold of a friend. You can even just leave a comment with a statement as simple as “help” and I will make sure to reach out.

Also, this is not a request for help. This is not a sign of warning, nor is it an answer. It’s more of a series of ideas and questions posed as a blog. I am not an expert, and I do not pretend to be. Again, resources are available if you need them. The one thing I am very passionate about is that talking to someone is, not just a step, the best step. That includes morons, like me, on the internet with too much time on their hands.

Okay. You have been warned. This is the last line that I will post before launching into my thoughts. I promise you that they will be upsetting to someone, and I refuse to be sorry for them.

If you couldn’t tell from that 3 paragraph intro, I have a lot of thoughts on depression, suicide, and mental health in general. Again: I am the furthest thing from a professional, and I have never been diagnosed as depressed. If that is a deal breaker for you, have a good day.

When I say that I have never been diagnosed with depression, I mean that in the most clinical definition. Am I depressed? Almost definitely on paper. The thing that keeps me from confirming the suspicion I have of depression is a sense of irony. It would almost be too perfect if I am depressed because my outlook on life is so bleak. I don’t care what happens after I die; I am dead. I cannot believe in an afterlife no matter how hard I try. I guess one could argue that I lead a hedonistic life, but that term seems too definite to me.

If I refuse to define my life as headonistic, how do I define it?

Well, I would say that I live a life of insecurity and stats. I obsessively watch things like YouTube subscriptions, video view numbers, stats of interactions with Twitter, and fancounts on FaceBook. I will spend the next week obsessing over the engagement that this post receives, as I have with every post I have made to this site over the last five years. The first AND last thing I do in a day is look at book sales, which haven’t shown a single number in three months at this point.

I have tied my worth as a human being to a series of number and engagement ratings. I hide my personality behind paywalls and am constantly disappointed with how poorly I am doing according to the numbers today, as opposed to seeing how they may have increased over the last year. The other day, I noticed that I lost two followers on my Twitter a month ago (the one stat I don’t keep up with) and spent hours re-reading the 40 or so posts I have made since they vanished to see what I might have done wrong. Damn, there is a chance that they were never real people. Alternatively, there is a chance that they WERE real people that realised how pointless Twitter is and disabled their account to go do something cool, like eat a sandwich.

I have a hard time disassociating likes, followers, and view numbers from accomplishment. I should be proud of the fact that I have 10ish releases of music and a book under my belt, but I find myself hung up on how I am very broke, rely on family and friends, and am very broke. Ironically, money is something that I cannot attach myself to. I have had the same Patrons forever. I appreciate them very much, but I don’t plug or push donating to that because I am trying to make stuff without relying on that. Even though I do have three dogs and a cat that would like to be fed.

So far, I know that this post has seemed like waffling. Those opening paragraphs seem like nothing more than fodder to keep the morbid few reading further into this post, but I swear there is a point to all of this. I cannot talk about my own mental shortcomings without defining where my head is at the point.

Back to my point of “who cares what happens after you die?” That is actually something I have been struggling with a lot as of late. Therefor. I have very little regard for life. I cannot find a reason to care about what happens after I die. If my identity gets taken, if my book gets plagiarized, if my unreleased work gets finished by someone else and published under their name: I will be dead and therefore cannot reap any benefit or dismay that it might generate. If anything, I do not have to deal with the fallout and heartbreak of it not going as well as I think it should.

So, if I have this very “selfish” view on life; why keep going? If I am so convinced that there will be no repercussion that I have to deal with, why even risk the heartbreak? I should be willing to take my own life. I should be already dead. I should die quietly and make sure that I go in a quiet manner to make sure that I matter as little in death as I did in life.

One word.
Tomorrow.

I’m curious about what tomorrow brings. I’m curious about what I can accomplish. I’m curious about what my friends will do, and if the things I have (or my friends have) done will matter in the long run.

If you can’t find reason to live, just remember that the reason could be as simple as what the butterfly effect might bring in the next moment.

That might sound stupid, juvenile, or even selfish; but it helps me see tomorrow. Yes; I have a wife that I love very much. Yes; I have my family, friends, and possible prospects in writing. Yes; I have a small collection of people that might read this line. I love all of you very much, and I appreciate you coming to my articles. I know that I have been a bit more rambly as of late, and much less directed. I am sorry for that, but please remember that I appreciate you.

Also music.

To reply…?

I have gone a couple of months without saying too much about the review that was published. Official opinion? I like it! I was very honoured that they compared me to Chuck Palahniuk, as he is one of my favourite writers. Even being called “undercooked” by comparison is like saying that a painting is no Mona Lisa. That comparison alone brought tears to my eyes as I read it.

I refuse to refute any points I do not agree with. I am a firm believer in the idea that a work is a living entity that exists on its own. The review, though I do think it is a bit too tough on the vignettes, is very good. Even the “undercooked” is surrounded by words of encouragement and praise, so I need to stop focusing on it.

It’s hard to detach personal attachment from something that I created. I still get mildly defensive when people attack bands I was in a lifetime ago. Hell, I have notice lyrical discrepancies in regards to The Twin and I will never elaborate on that. If you can hear where we were offensive, let’s talk about it. I’ll tell you 234982340 other times you should be offended, and I will fully agree that we should have payed more attention to what we were saying.

On the topic of creation, I am about 1/5th into writing my next book. I know that does not sound far, but you have no idea how little hair I have left trying to wrap my mind around timeline and greater scope. I have the ending done, I have a major event. Now, it’s just a matter of connecting those two points, while also making those points make sense in the greater narrative. Also, I need to give some importance and gravity to the initial event.

I showed a very early draft to my friend Pat, and he pointed out how there was no reason to care that an event happened to the main character. At that time, I had the inciting event happen right at the beginning. I still hold that it could have worked, but starting with an emotional moment only to have it undercut by how we don’t know the character is not ideal…

MY GREATER POINT

If you donate to my Patreon (as low as a dollar a month) you will be listed in the “Thank You”s at the end of the text. I will have the book done by 2021, because 2020 is a garbage fire and I want nothing I do to be immortalized by this horrible year.

Farewell to Freeway

The first live show I ever saw was Farewell to Freeway opening for The Reason. There were other bands, they were also very good, but those two stood out. Not just because they were the headliners, but also because. well, the formed a basis for my taste in music for the early 2000’s.

To be clear, and to flex my independent music knowledge because I’m a pretentious prick, I realize that Farewell to Freeway was initially Sewing With Nancy, and they changed their sound dramaticallly from almost a skate-punk sound to emo in 2000. Hell, Like Home was my introduction to the band roughly two nights before I saw them.

Again, I feel that it must be stated how amazing the whole lineup for the night was. Those two bands stick out for me because I really had no referance for heavier music. The absolute heaviest that I got at that time was Tool’s Lateralus album. If you know that album, saying that it’s not metal is rediculous, but seeing it as heavy is laughable.

If memory serves, Farewell to Freeway (hereby refered to as F2F) started their set with songs from the Between Yesterday and Today album. Still a rather emo-tastic album, but they perfected the sound from that point on.

I was in bliss. They went from being a really solid local-ish band to being something amazing to me. They closed their set with the title track from their, at that time, upcoming album (song here). I am not too man enough to admit that I cried, I thought it so beautiful. Even though I was silly and considered it metal (oh, baby me…), I didn’t dare mosh for fear that I would miss a note.

So, yes, I was floored. The Reason topped off a fantastic night. Ironically, that was the last time they were heavy (that I saw on stage) before they made the jump to a more mainstream sound three years later. (The Reason Meta-ish)(The Reason Pop feat. Sara Quin from Tegan & Sara fame)

Anyway, the reason I write about this album (aside from how instrumental it was in my taste in music) is: even though music has evolved and “improved” since this simple eight track album came out, I still return to it with great anticipation for everything to be okay for the 27 minutes that it takes to make this beautiful journey. If you are a fan of 2000’s emo or anything in the punk world from that time, I am very sure that you will love this piece of 519 history.