Favourite Year

I find myself doing this weird deep-dive across my life where I try to pin-point my favourite year. I don’t have a reason, and rarely does it have any bearing.

I hate that I resort to when I started working at a media store. It feels like a co-out, like the only reason I pick that year is because that was the first full year that I got more exposure than ever to everything. Then, I remember how, for the first year anyway, I just filled back catalogue in both music and movies. I mean, yes: all the new music I got into was released that year.

NAME THE FUCKING YEAR JAY

K. Fine. It’s the year 2007. So many great albums came out that year. It was the last year of All Cut Up and we recorded probably the most fun EP of our three year run. The Twin started to form late that year. Livestalk & the Bodies was put into motion right at the end of the year. Battles and Dear & the Headlights recorded and released 2 of my favourite albums of all time. Not to mention the plethora of mind-bending games that came out that year like BioShock, Portal and Mass Effect: 3 series that started that year and I remained a fan for a long time.

In the movie realm, all I have to mention is Juno and point out how amazing that soundtrack was. I could go further, but that one film sums up a large part of that year for me.

Interpersonally, I flourished that year. I don’t have many interesting stories, but needless to say that I was rarely home. The shows had all but dried up that year, so it was low on the totem of personal achievements. Maybe I should take that as a note: years that I don’t achieve anything matter more? That might be complete bullshit. There is a co-relation between years where I find happiness and being comfortable artistically. From 2005 to now-ish I have done something artistically placating every year. Hell, even this year I renewed my book for a second edition that is double in length and has half as many grammatical errors.

Do you have a favourite year? Want to gloat about some achievement that you have hit and never felt like you had the praise you deserved for it? Let’s talk about it either in the comments, or hit me up on FaceBook! There is a page, if you don’t feel like seeking me out personally!

A bear on a wire

I am kind of disturbed at how people seem to be loosing their minds over the whole isolation bit. I haven’t left the house for more than an hour in a year. It’s been several months since I went out and about, and I have packages to send. (sorrykatilldoitsoon)

Anyway, I went over all that recently. I am mostly writing as a reminder that I released a book a few weeks ago. Of course, I still have issues with Amazon dot com, but I hope to have all of that resolved next week. On that note, I have said “next week” about this issue for the last month or so. I hope that I am right this time.

In the meantime, the Friessen Press bookstore is a great way to get the book. They have pressing locations in Europe and the United States (on top of Canada), and it ensures that the most recent pressing gets delivered. It also delivers in arguably (I hear, though I haven’t done ordering for obvious reasons) the best time frame.

New asnP on the first, and the one after that is written. The next one is my usual format, but the one after is a poem/kids story. I am excited to hear what people think of both of them.

Mildly Angry

I had this long post talking about the current climate with the impending health crisis and isolation. I also talked about how I am fixing things in regards to my book on Amazon dot com and brought up different things we could all do instead of just bashing our heads in silence. I talked about feeling like a burden to friends and family. I wrote about how horrible everything may seem, then came up with this fantastic anecdote to ease minds.

I wrote over 1000 words, then WordPress was a douche and erased EVERYTHING. I don’t know why, what I did wrong, or if I can ever fix it.

So, I am not going to let it win this time. I am writing a short post expressing my disappointment. Before anyone says “hurr that’s wordpress hurr”, I know. I have heard of such things happening. I realize that this is far from a perfect platform, but this is all I can afford right now. So fuck off.

The short version of what I was saying about the book: Amazon dot com is still showing the first press of You’re Not Dead, meanwhile Kobo is just being stupid. I recommend using the Friessen Press bookstore directly to ensure that you are getting a right press. They are not expensive, and have printing offices in England and the United States (if you’re concerned about shipping costs).

In the meantime: I am going to cry into a pillow and hope my dogs leave me alone long enough to find some sort of

What is a “Friend”?

Let us consider what a friend truly is, because I think the internet has distorted the definition greatly. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, just a fact.

The Google definition is fun, if kind of vague. The idea of a friend being someone you know is a bit, well, bleak. I have plenty of people that I consider friends whom I have never and will never meet. We met online, and continue to speak online. I guess you could argue that we know each other mentally, and have no regard for physical appearance. I also know many people who consider me a friend that I have not spoken to in years. Some of which, and I hope no one gets offended by this concept, I would no longer like. This does not change that I would happily tell someone they are a “friend” if the topic gets brought up.

So, if someone says they have no friends, do they mean that literally? I was in a conversation with someone that I consider a sister, and she stated the harrowing fact that she “has no friends.” My reply was asking what I am. She then tried to reverse what she was saying, very non-gracefully. Eventually, she had to change her definition to “no friends around me” which is a point that I was in no position to argue. We do live over an hour apart, and I haven’t spent time with her in over a year.

I shouldn’t bitch. I played in bands for about a decade. I played hundreds of shows and in front of thousands of people. I have gone to cities not knowing anyone, and stayed the night at a random persons house surrounded by dozens of people. In the end of those events, I am guilty for going on a self-pitting rant about how I do not have any friends.

If even in situations when surrounded by people I can feel alone and hollow, what is a friend? I have had more important and impactful conversations with people I have never (and, most likely, will never) meet.

So, I raise the question: What is a friend?

I contend a rather sterile answer. What if friends are who we need at that moment? What if they are who we can categorize as a friend, and not actually “a friend”? That would alleviate the social pressure to be the classical definition of a friend. I cannot promise that this plan would fix much, or even should be considered, but I ask that it should be contemplated.

We all need to relieve the pressure to have a friend. We all need to stop changing ourselves to be a friend.

Lack of Inspiration

I haven’t written in days. I finally figured out how to save my latest work-in-progress and I just haven’t had a spark to write. Yes; I do see the irony in writing how I have no clue what to write but I feel like I need to do something.

That comes off wrong: I want to write something, and I have this blog figured out. Yet, when it comes to my next book, I have a tonne of ideas but no clue how to work them into a coherent plot. I am hoping that me writing this will allow me to look at what I have so far in a different light.

What am I writing?
It’s an investigative reporter for a paper talking to a man who thinks that he might be immortal. He thinks this because he has survived several no-way situations that he recounts. I have an ending figured out, I have written about 4000 words, not including the ending. I am just stuck on figuring out how to progress from where I am.

To be completely honest, it would make a great short story in the form it’s in right now. I actually started writing it as an ansP, but it snowballed and now I am determined to write it out fully. The best part about it is that I can be the investigative reporter and point out holes that I can see in my own story through the eyes of a person trying to get his article out of this man. I haven’t jumped into that idea yet, but I have already noticed at least one point that I can ride.

I know that I have championed the idea of writing everything that comes to mind down on something, and I do that (thus this post). One thing I have not written about, because I have never actually experienced it, is writers block.

To be totally honest, I am not sure if what I am currently experiencing constitues writers block. I have ideas for where I want the story to go, I am just not sure on how to make it go there.

With that said, I am only 4000 words deep. I could scrap it, but I don’t want to. I have given myself a year to complete this work, and I am going to give myself at least that long to try. I am going to go ahead and write something new if a new idea comes to mind.

I actually started flushing out Martha. not too long ago. I had an idea on how to flush out that world, and I like some backstory ideas that I had for that. The main issue that I found is that I know how I would want it to work out as a show, but a book I was having a hard time keeping it interesting without leaning on exposition and inane description.

“alive and kicking it in hamilton”

Today marks the 6 year anniversary of me posting my survival to the world. I spent about an hour trying to compose exactly how I wanted this to be presented. Though the end result seems silly and juvenile, it was calculated.

It was both disarming and abrasive. I wanted people to see that I was here, but I wanted it to be as underwhelming as it could be. Simply for the fact that I didn’t see it as a big deal. I could never know the waves that it would have created.

271 likes and 95 comments. That doesn’t even include the reactions from the 7 shares that I received. That was all from my personal FaceBook, as well. I, for lack of a better definition, was a nobody. I had friends and family, sure. That doesn’t change the surprise I felt from the outpouring of notices that I received. It would still be another year before I wrote and released my blog explaining, somewhat, what happened. This would still be four years from the release of my book going further into detail about a more in depth explanation of all the events.

Do I regret not having everything in place for the inevitable reintroduction to the world? Of course. That’s why I am classifying my book as a “mostly fiction” from now on, and have been since I was told how my timeline was warped by my parents.

To be fair: they did give me a detailed outline. They had taken extensive note for the first five months of me being in hospital. They claim they were doing it for me, but I knew it was a kind of coping mechanism at the time. If it had really been for me, it would have continued until further in my recovery. More description would have been put into names, staff, places and specialists. Regardless, they did finally give it to me to read after the book had been out for two years, and I may have had flash-backs while my eyes crept between marks of graphite and ink.

Personal side-note: I wish I just put “kicking in hamilton” as opposed to “kicking IT in hamilton”. HINDSIGHT!

The Good Place

My wife and I have been making our way through The Good Place for the second-ish time. I say “ish” because we saw the first season about five times before the second and third came to Netflix. We love this show for many reasons, but I know that I am drawn to it through its mockery of moral philosophy and the people who wrote papers on the subject.

I am in no way a philosophy learned person. I am, however, drawn to the quandaries they present. Especially when faced head on with questions that may come up in the common day to day. The Good Place does that bit perfectly. It is the opposite of preachy, and just poignant enough to be deep.

It got me wondering where I would wind up. Without spoiling the show, the good place and bad place are what they sound like: places for your “soul” to end up after you leave this mortal coil. Looking back at my life, I can say with great confidence that I have no clue where I would end up.

It raises the question that because I am even asking the question of how things would end up, is that actually a negative trait or a positive one? Is it selfish to dilute actions without taking into consideration intentions and mitigating factors?

The very concept that we have papers and books and essays written on the topics of moral decisions, would they even matter in the grander scheme?

Then, I got wondering if “The Good Place” is really just something we do to ourselves? If our actions and self-punishment is potentially worse than any scripture or text could ever predict?

It’s very possible, in my mind, that we create our own heaven and hell. The way that we perceive our actions today dictates how pleasant our today is. To assume that we are going to be tormented for all time for something I do today is a bit, well, silly. There is a good chance that our own self aware mind is punishment enough.

I have toucher’d and tormented myself for things I have done over the last 30 years. Some of them, I should really get over and accept that either it was situational or an accident. Some things I am so ashamed that I have ever considered. Some things only I see as horrible because I know the motivation behind it.

Maybe, we’re all Good.
Maybe, none of it matters in the long run.

That brings me to a mild and brief explanation of my view: nothing matters. What matters is making now great. Now, does that mean live in extravagance? Look at it this way: is what you’re doing now hurting you later? That’s more what I think about when I say “nothing matters”. Now is all that you can admit to ever experiencing, so why not make now better?

On this topic, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk have fully updated my book release to the newest version. amazon.com is giving me a world of grief, but I have been informed there is NOTHING I can do. As soon as I see this rectified, I will make sure to post something about it.

In the meantime, the Friessen Press bookstore continues to be the more reliable way if you want to pick up your copy. Unfortunately, I have no information on how their digital copies hold up, but hardcover and softcover? Unmatched, somehow. They do printing in the states, the UK, and Canada, and they do individual orders. And, for full transparency, they are the best for me. Just saying.

I Might Scrap my Latest

I started writing a new book about mid February. I thought that I really liked the concept, and I thought it gave me a tonne of room to flex creative muscles and to pad out a world.

I wrote for about three hours, then realized that I had found the natural conclusion.

Three hours doesn’t sound like a long time, not even to me. The amount of time I placed into the book does not illustrate any sort of urgency to get something new out, and I know that if I pushed harder, I could write something fantastic. That doesn’t change my feeling that I should scrap it and move on.

Only 5000-ish words in and I could finish it. That’s sad. My last book was over 100,000 words. My goal this time was to break 200,000 words.

The concept was fun, yet horrible (in my usual fashion). It is about a guy who thinks he is invincible, and a reporter detecting various events in his life trying to either prove or disprove his feelings. I wrote up two different events, then realized that I was kind of done.

On that note, it’s very much a first draft. I expect that I could make it 6000 words. Going any further with the story how it is will feel like I’m just wasting your time. I might keep it in a folder and write a couple of more stories. Kind of make it like I did You’re Not Dead. I’ll keep everyone posted.

Side note: My wife and I started watching “Imposters” on Netflix. It’s very good, highly recommended if you are into con stuff in the same vain as the Ocean’s 11 remake. It has it’s moments of melodrama, but they don’t detract from the overall enjoyment.

I didn’t write today…

I was far too tired to write. In fact, this is the first the I have written all day, minus a FaceBook status where people commented for me to list songs that reminded me of them. That was fun, and I am sorry to the five people that I didn’t post anything for. Don’t take it personally.

Anyway, I didn’t write physically, but I did compose an ending for my next book! It’s different for me! No one dies!

Kind of.

Well, you’ll see what I mean next year.

OH! I have a timeline ending next year for this project. My plan is to average 500-1000 words a day, and I have almost hit it every day. I put a range because of days like today, where my brain will not co-operate and my hands feel like they are full of cement. It’s fuckin’ weird.

Anyway, I just felt like doing a short update to keep everyone informed.

Virgin

I just received a rather sharp kick to the nuts. Apparently, I shouldn’t have ventured into the world of self publishing if I wanted to be represented. Or, I should at least have my next story ready.

This came from me asking for representation from an organization that I won’t name for privacy reasons. The proclaimed that jumping onto a project that has already been published will not pan out for them or the writer. Apparently the book industry would rather an untested manuscript over one that has even pretended to see the light of day.

I find this both depressing and illuminating. I was under the impression that it would be better for everyone involved if I jumpstarted the distribution of my “work” and started to make a name for myself. That would create less work for both publishers and agencies because, again my thinking, I would already have a minor audience. It would show my dedication to the craft.

HOWEVER.

Since that is not the case, I will not be releasing my next work when it is done without an actual publisher behind it.

I love the people at Friessen Press. They have done great work for me, and helped me to realize a new passion. They have the tools and the connections to help me realize a new way to express myself. Unfortunately, I have to use their connections and go into that realm myself. By that, I mean that they give me the e-mails and phone numbers for connections, and it’s up to me to make it happen.

Now, in theory, this is a fantastic way of doing things. The big downside is that I am learning as I go naked into this world of writing. I have learned so many things, am still learning so many things, and don’t know that I have missed an avenue to explore until it is too late. As I mentioned in my last post, I am working on a new project. Since it is still in a very unexplored stage, I am not going to divulge what it’s about. I will say that I am about 4000 words into it (not 10 pages) and it’s going very well!

If you want your name in the thank-you portion, please consider giving to my Patreon. Even a donation of $1 a month will mean you’re listed.