You’re Not Dead version 2

I have noticed myself having a hard time accepting that people can do obvious things, such as walking. It’s probably just because I have spent damn near a sixth of my life in a wheelchair.

Oh yeah: that’s a thing. I have been in the chair for five years as of the 30th. Well, at least unable to walk. I guess it could be argued that I first used a wheelchair in February when I went to that aquarium in Toronto, and had done nothing by lie in bed for four months.

ANYWAY.

My point is more that, as people get make assumptions towards things I can do, I find myself surprised at what they can do. My wife and I have been apartment searching as of late, and our search has been limited due to steps to the door with no wheelchair access available. I forget that people do not have to be concerned with things like that. I forget that even a flight of stairs that travels up one story of a building is of no consequence to an abled. The threshold can be up a foot because people have knees and are able to get up that no problem.

I have a similar, but not as extreme, issue with the apartment I am in right now. There is a CM-high lip to get into my unit. I am able to get over it no issue usually, but it does create a challenge in the event I am carrying groceries, laundry, or packages.

On the flip-side, so I do not always bitch and complain how hard life is, watching someone who does not use a wheelchair try to do ANYTHING is the funniest thing ever. Everyone knows you push the wheels and propel the wheel, but there is almost always a moment of confusion that casts over faces whenever an able bodied person gets into a wheelchair for the first time.

AND GOD FORBID YOU COAX THEM INTO SOMETHING MORE COMPLICATED!

Anyone who has spent a few hours with me knows that I love to pull wheelies. Just stationary ones, and even then I am far from impressive. I THOUGHT. My dad tried to pull one after fixing my breaks up one day and fell backwards instantly. I had to hide my face because I could not hide the smirk that traveled across my face.

In anewsinPublication news, people who sign up on Patreon before the month is out at $3 or more are promised a copy of the revised and updated You’re Not Dead.
WITH THAT SAID:
I am still working on fixing all the things I placed awkwardly in the pages of that book. I have already added several pages by just explaining things properly. Who knew that if you write things well, they turn out decent?

ANYWAY: Next month I am releasing the first chapter as the ansP release. I will not be sending the Patreons anything until the book is done, and then they will get the book in its entirety.

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That time they messed up…

A few years ago, a bunch of friends and I went to see Animals as Leaders and Between the Buried and Me in Toronto. I came with full expectations to have my face melted and my pride to be destroyed, but I left with nothing shy of unbridled hope.

CAFO, and this should shock no one, is one of my favourite songs of all time. It starts with a bang and never really lets up, not to mention that is has one of the strange syncopation bits dead centre of the song. My goal, before I ended up in hospital, was to learn every bit of that song. I knew full well that I would never perform it for anyone but me, but by jove! It would be such an accomplishment.

AaL jumped into their set and I was far from disappointed. Every accent was a perfect match, every solo was nailed, every motion was beautiful.

By the time they got to CAFO, I was expecting them to have already called it a night. I could not believe the stamina, not to mention the level of dexterity, that I was baring witness to. Sure enough, CAFO was going beautifully. I could not believe how fast every member had to be to keep up with the incredible pace already set by the recording, and they had amped up the speed for stage.

For those who know what tempo is, they moved the slider up 40-50 BPM faster than the recording was. To match that speed with the single=stroke rolls present in the beginning of the song is, for lack of a better term, stupid.

Then, they got to the part I could never quite match. They could not do it either, and just made a bunch of noise to mask the drummers flub. Some would say that it was a disappointment to witness a hero fail at a performance.

I was elated. I could not have been my pleased to see a mistake in my life. It was at that moment I realized that the person I put on the highest pedestal was just that, a person. It sounds stupid: foolish even. I argue that we are all guilty of idolizing someone, and we all need to remember that they are just people, even if they are the best at something. They had to become great, and were potentially worse than you when they started.

That is not to say that you should give up and never try, just be easy on yourself. know your limits and do not get too discouraged.

With all of that said: it is not a bad thing to think that you are not good enough! In fact: I would argue that no one ever is good at anything, but can always get better at it! The biggest catch is to not give into feeling inadequate and giving up. That is always difficult, but just realize that there is always better.

Take drums, for instance. You could be the best at what you play, held on high as the epitome of what is possible in the genre. Then, you come across Maps and Atlases, or Chon, and realize you strive to be the best over in that world, as well. So, you start at the bottom of another ladder that is totally unrelated to where you came from.

Now, that may sound daunting and debilitating, but the point is that you should enjoy the journey. There is no end, and you should not try to find one. That would be boring.

I am exploding

I need to take next month off from ansP, Not because I don’t have anything, but because I want it to be good.

I have written so many different ideas, but I am not happy with any of them right now. I need the month to tweak and skew to make everything perfect. I will make sure that December will have a release,

So, yes: the title is a mild hyperbole. It perfectly describes how I am mentally feeling right now. Too many ideas, no follow through.

With all of that said, people backing me on Patreon for enough for early releases will be sent the rewrite of You’re Not Dead in the next month in absence of a release next month. I rewrote several pages and added some, as well. I feel like I released it too quickly and need to work on it more. As it stands, I am rewriting what I can in haste, and if I get enough interest, I will do an updated release in the next year. After that, I am going to never touch that book again. I am done beating that dead horse, but I need to fix some before I can let myself leave it forever.

Seriously: in the first few pages, I walk to the car, put my cup on the counter, walk to the car, grab some music, and walk to the car to drive away. WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THAT I MADE SUCH A STUPID MISTAKE?!?!?!

Update Time!!!

I usually write blog posts by Monday and have short stories lined up for at least a month. For the first time in a long time, I find myself with a totally empty cue. That is not because I am lazy, but because I find myself with too much in my mind to make a coherent post.

I have written and rewritten this post several times. I refuse to leave you hanging for another week while I sort out my personal life and try to find even a stand of something interesting. Therefore, I am writing this! Is that not super exciting? I know you are having a hard time containing your sounds of enthusiasm and glee.

Know what? I’m just going to put the developments that have come, in rapid succession, over the last week.

  1. I found a new way to step! To make it more exciting: I KNOW THAT IT IS THE RIGHT WAY! I have been walking with my knees locked for the last year. I knew it was wrong, but I could make it KIND OF work for the few steps that I needed to complete when using the washroom or going to bed. DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS A BEND IN YOUR KNEE WHEN YOU STAND?!?!?!? I did not. It seemed counter-intuitive to me. Why, when you are trying to stand, would you bend your knee? What is this magic?! Then, my wife mocked me for stepping like a pirate who has seen better days and explained the mechanics of the leg further than anyone has explained them in the past. Please keep in mind: she was a parapoligic for about a year and re=learned how to walk herself, so she is allowed to make fun of me. Well, let’s be frank, anyone can make fun of me so long as I know that it is in jest. I digress, I can now take a couple of more steps. Still no where near not needing the chair for open spaces, but things feel a little more comfortable AND I feel less silly. Oh, and my knees no longer feel like they are going to explode out of my flesh. So, I guess that’s a good thing.
  2. AMAZON REJECTED ME! By that, I mean the thing I was trying out. If I want to be paid by Amazon for advertising for them, I have to collect sales in my first “X” days. A fair number of them. In a reality that surprises NO ONE: I didn’t even get clicks for the links that I had made available to the public. I do understand Amazon’s wish the govern this, seeing as they already have thousands of people advertising for them. This increases the importance of devices like Patreon to make sure that I can keep doing this. I love writing, and I am always trying to find new avenues to do it. So far, the short stories are going well, and people seem to enjoy them. At least, they do to my “face.” WHAT A GREAT SEGUE INTO POINT THREE! segue is a stupid word.
  3. Story three is taking a lot longer than I wanted it to. I wanted to write something completely original. Like I mentioned in a recent post, I want to dissect and rewrite an old story idea I had originally come up with over ten years ago. In trying to do that, I have come up with literally HUNDREDS of premisses and intro paragraphs. All of which I get so far, then they fall apart. I have written most of them down in a document so I have them in case I need them later, but I am feeling the heat as I want to have the Patreon supporters their copy in just over a week from today.

So, yeah. See how not one of these points are longer than a few lines? Each would make a good blog entry if I could expand it further than just a few lines. I prefir to keep things at more than just a thought or two, though I do realize how just one thought would make things easier to follow.

DAMN MY MIND. BACK TO THE GRIND.

heh… that rhymed.
And so did that…

Sophie {ANEWSIN VOL.3 — JASON GARDEN}

“It just happened.”

Sophie’s brown eyes were dry but she still looked like she could cry at any moment.

“I was twenty three. I didn’t want to have a child, but I wasn’t against the whole concept.” She took a long drink from the glass of water in front of her.

“My boyfriend and I lived in a decent studio apartment. Yeah: it was a rental. It was our place, though. We spent days- maybe even weeks- making space for the new arrival. We couldn’t afford it- we knew that- but we were going to try. We were excited to try. We were together. We were happy. I thought we were happy…”

Sophie trailed off. Her eyes started to drift around the corners of the rather empty room. It just contained the table she was sitting at, the detective, a mirror, and a door. She did not know what she was doing there or why they wanted to know what drove her to the breaking point.

Her breaking point.

That time when everyone died around her.

She just knew that she had much to say.

“The child contracted something. It was coughing all the time and seemed distant.”

It was at this point that Sophie started to look visibly upset.

“Again: I didn’t want- that thing- my child to grow up around there. My boyfriend and I found that apartment decent, but it was far from suitable for a child. It was up a story, above a store. Fuck sakes: the shop below was a Goddamned head-shop!” Sophie was becoming more frantic as she continued the story. Her eyes were no longer dry, but she also did not look as if she was going to cry. She was upset. Her fists had balled so tightly that her nails had started digging into her palms.

“I cried for a very long time. I was destroyed for days. The child died. My boyfriend left me for a whore. My mother died. It probably was not in that order but I will be damned if I can remember the order of things, let alone the time between events.” She released her fingers from her hands long enough to take a drink of water to sooth her throat. If she actually yelled instead of trying to keep herself reserved, her voice would not have given out quickly.

“So yeah: the child died only a few days after coming home. The doctors didn’t say shit when I spoke up. I cried. Not because of the death. I wasn’t too attached yet. I know they say that carrying a child for nine months bonds the unborn to the mother, or something like that. I was numb. I didn’t know who that thing was. I barely even realized that it was mine, it died so fast. So, no: the death didn’t fuck me up too much.” A smirk appeared on Sophies face for the first time since she entered the room. “I cried because that’s what everyone wanted. I cried because I was supposed to.”

The detective, who found himself entranced by Sophie’s story, finally spoke up.

“…do you feel like that lead to you killing four people with that knife, then?”

Sophie laughed harder than was appropriate for the situation.

“Fuck no!”

“Then why would you tell me about that?” The detective was astounded by how frank her response was. “We have footage of you stabbing four patrons of a bar who were out for a smoke. They were all in their late 30’s, of average health and status, so we cannot figure out the motive. We have looked at this from every angle!”

The detective wiped a beed of sweat from his brow. This interrogation was taking place in the hottest room in the precinct, and he was started to feel his everything give up and give in.

“Just tell me what I need so we can leave this forsaken place and you can go back to your cell.” The detective was done with this emotional rollercoaster and he was too warm to sit here much longer.

Sophie smiled keeping her lips sealed to hide her perfect teeth. “There was no motivation to do it. Well, I guess there was: I wanted to do it. I wanted to know what taking a life felt like instead of having life taken from me.” She followed up her statement with a hearty laugh. “Can I smoke in here? I need a cigarette.”

The detective felt played. He had a very hard time believing that someone just wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone.

“Go nuts.” the detective said. He gives her one of his last cigarettes from his pack. She put it in her mouth, and the detective lights a match and puts the flame next to the tobacco and lights it for her.

Sophie takes a deep drag and sighs. “Reliving all of that is better than sex. I haven’t talked about that kid dying since it happened five years ago. Don’t really need to.”

The detective cannot decide what he finds more disturbing: the complete disregard for guilt over killing four people, or the detachment from her own child.

“I noticed that you never specify gender. Why is that?” the detective just craved answers. He had a small family back home: a husband, and a beautiful boy. He could not fathom why she refused to recognize anything about the child.

“Why?” Sophie asks, sounding very curious. “The baby wasn’t part of my life for long enough to even care.”

Astonished, the detective retreated back into the comfort of things he could understand. “Fine. Why the stabbing, though? They were from out of town, so it is unlikely personal. Why, then? We can’t figure it out. I cannot figure it out!”

“They asked me to.” Replied Sophie, her tone was hollow and cold. There was not even a hint of self-assurance in her voice. She was convinced they asked.

Just then, the door burst open, disrupting the peace and quiet.

“Okay, detective. I’m Sophie’s lawyer, Jenny Silvana. She doesn’t have to answer more of your questions, and we ask for a moment to get everything squared away.”

The detective looked defeated. “Fine. I’ll be just down the hall, please let me know when I can re-enter.”

He grabbed his jacket off the back of his chair as he got up. He stormed out, mildly frustrated. He was sure that he could have gotten the full story eventually, but the law is the law. The detective left the room and their eyes followed him to the door as he left.

In the hall, he shut the interrogation room door and knocked on another wood door right next to it. A large man swung it open, letting it hit the wall. He was clearly frustrated.

“Fred!” The detective’s voice was stern. “I know you’re frustrated, but you know that we can’t do anything. Calm down!”

“I know. Just… FUCK! It felt so close to getting a full confession!” Fred screamed, his face red and sweat pouring off his brow. “I just wanted to sleep tonight.”

“I know. Again, you know we can’t do anything in those situations. We might even get a decent deal at the end of everything. We can’t risk ruining the case, though.” The detective tried to sooth the large man with his tone. He remained calm and kept his volume low to direct the mood to a calmer place.

This is all uncharted ground for me, so I hope that I did okay. Please support me on Patreon.

I am proud to thank the few people who have made it financially viable for me to do this for three months in a row.

If you wish to support this piece, but do not wish to fight with Patreon, here is the PayPal link where you can offer what you want.

Learning to Listen.

For being a fan of music all of my life, I am terrible at listening to it. I usually deconstruct every part, learn lyrics to sing poorly, or use it as a backtrack for writing. Over the last week, I have started to just sit down and let it all happen.

No, it did not revolutionize music for me. Also, if I pointed all the ways that I could listen to it differently would be ironic: I would just be using music as I did in the past. I also will not say that I meditated to it, because that would just be using it as a backtrack again. What did happen is amazing. I just zoned out and let the sounds flow over me. I was able to enjoy music without the distraction of me trying to learn it without learning it.

I guess that comes with knowing six instruments mildly well. I cannot speak for everyone, but I tended to learn the parts without learning the parts. In the past, I would be able to perform songs that I never played along with. Great for pick-up gigs where you are playing covers with a band you have never practiced with, horrible for enjoying something. I tended to get wrapped up in changes. I would avoid things that sounded too much like something else. What I thought was a distaste for a lack of originality was actually a fear of performing an accent or key out of place. I was giving myself performance anxiety without performing.

Self discovery and self exploration are things I find myself doing a lot now. Most people probably look at my discoveries and laugh. They might be embarrassed for me for just figuring that out. Friends might be reading this and saying “no fucking shit you moron” but I feel like my putting this realization out into the world may garnish several other people noticing they do it to.

This thing (rant?) is thanks to me listening to the same channel that I have been listening to for far too long now. It is available 24/7 so I just put it on whenever I want to listen to something but not get distracted by it. It was through that thought process that I gradually deconstructed the way I listen to music and came to that startling discovery

Today I feel like highlighting an album that I have owned for a long time, but only recently gave the proper listening to. Beautiful. Haunting. Amazing. This duo is brilliant at what they do. I will admit, this album is only recommended for the minority. Listen to it first before committing to buying.

The Profits of Boredom

Ironic sounding title, but I owe a huge bit of gratitude for “boredom”

I starting writing because I felt, probably unwarranted, that I had found everything that could express my views on life. When I found myself restricted to a wheelchair and, with the kind of damage to my brain that lead to epilepsy, I started to write. It started with my views and opinions based around what happened so I could become okay with it myself, because it was very unexpected. Then, I started writing to fill my time. I really do not care if other people like what I put on the screen if I am entertained by it.

Thankfully for me, there is an interested community for what I have written, and it seems to grow with every release I make. It is a kind of masturbation: a way to relieve myself of my artistic drive, now that drums and touring are no longer an option.

I recently found writings I did when I was in high school. There is one, in particular, that I plan on cleaning up and creating a narrative around. As it stands right now, it is nothing more than a snapshot of where my mind was over ten years ago. In a way, the piece was my introduction into the world of fiction writing. I remember that I just finished reading Dente’s Inferno, and I absolutely played the “I’m 18 and I am deep” card, but I still enjoy the basic premiss, and still use it as a type of template for what I write.

Now, am I still writing exactly like I was back then? Hell no. I would write simple journal entries as entities that never actually existed. Most of them are just depression fodder and fed my need to express my distaste for the world as a whole. Now, I strive to explore a side of the human psyche that may not ever get expressed. I want people to look at situations they are in and think about how, if they were a little more detached, they might react differently. I want to expose human flaws and call into question the societal norms that we all feel pressured to display.

***
So, I wrote this piece all because I was listening to the band with the greatest name of all time, “…and you will know us by the trail of dead”. I got into this band when I started working in a record shop and was looking for something new and not scream-y to put in the store payer. I did some research, and found out I could play that band with the amazing name. I was initially caught off guard with how ’90’s alternative they were. They were kind of that band I did not know I was looking for. I started with the album “Source Tags & Codes” but any album they released is joy to the ears.

Please allow my digression: I was going through all of my music when this song came up. I immediately loaded the full album and wrote this all out. My point being, music very much influences my writing style and mood.

Side note: this link is for the vinyl, and I wish I had that. If you purchase it (or already own it), let me know how amazing it is.