What happens next?

I love being asked that question when it comes to my writing. I don’t know: maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I need to make it more obvious in what I dictate that the point is uncertainty?

In life, you live through events and either never grasp their ramifications, or they go right over your head all together. That is how I write. I never really solve the narrative in the strictest sense. I tend to leave the reader with all the information – all the events – and just come to AN ending.

Is that not what I am supposed to do? Do I do it wrong?

I have been inundated with questions regarding You’re Not Dead (which is fitting because production stopped on the fifth. There are still some copies on Amazon) questioning why I ended it the way I did. The response to that is very simple: it was a reflection on the year I had during the events of that book. The ending is not explicit because I have not found out yet. The only ending I will find is my death.

What I find more interesting was how many people have asked me if the next chapter of Elaine is going to sort out some questions.

Allow me to make this as clear as I can: that was a self-contained story. There is no ‘Part Two’ or happy ribbon to mark it off the ol’ reading list. That was never the point and will never be the point to most short stories I write, I do not see our lives as having an intro, conflict, resolution — or at least not often I know that I, personally, have never been privy to such splendour.

I have run into another issue: Should I stick to my guns for my release schedule of ansP stories, or move it over since I already fucked it up? I am not even asking because I want (no, NEED) to release Hannah’s piece, but I feel like I confused the situation already and I want to fix it. Any thought?

OR WE COULD ALL LOOK AT MY PATREON AND HIT $100 A MONTH SO WE DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT AND YOU GET A STORY EVERY MONTH.

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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.

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

/I’m probably wrong…

WARNING! This post goes in the face of most established spiritual concepts and may result in frustration to some.

I have found myself questioning my belief structure a lot as of late.

When I was faced with my death five years ago, my thoughts on how there is no reason to anything were confirmed. This vindicated a lifetime of being a devoted atheist and solidified views on nihilism. The resulting several years have given me more than ample time to reflect on and research concepts that people have been arguing over for millennia.

So, what have my observations brought me to? It is clear when you read my latest book how I view life in particular, but in regards to our purpose in life I have always been a bit dodgy.

That fact relates right to how I view spirituality as a whole. It also explains my humour. It does not matter, there cannot be reincarnation (because it makes no sense) and there cannot be an afterlife. Therefore, when we die, we die.

Those more astute may ask “why do you claim reincarnation is impossible and an afterlife is silly?” and I cannot fault you for thinking that.

Reincarnation is the idea that we get reborn into another being. Now, this has been explained that we get brought back into another human and that we get brought back into animals. Both I find equally improbable and silly. To say that “we get brought back” is to admit that we have a soul. Fine, I say, but what defines a soul? I have looked it up, and find the definition unsatisfactory. To assume that we have a soul and nothing else is just horribly ignorant, and to say everything has a soul brings into question what everything is. It you use the definition where everything that is alive has a soul, what is considered alive? Are you including plants, cells, and animals? If you do, the argument could be made that you could come back as a brain cell and a skin cell could be the next generation. If your answer is no, then the definition of a soul is restrictive.

For an afterlife, you have to consider how long life has existed. How diverse all of everything is; how varied your day-to-day is. What definition is there to be considered for this afterlife? Do NOT say religion: that would imply that if you have no choice in your faith and everything is meaningless.

Seriously, though: all because Jim (you know, that guy who did that amazing thing that saved humanity) had no way of being involved with that one deity, he has no right to be in your afterlife? And what exactly does happen to him and his “soul?” If the argument is going to be hell, that is a full place. If the argument is purgatory, there are billions of people there. If that doesn’t matter because reasons, why did I not see the gates or door or whatever of these places when I died? Did I not really die because I came back? Were the doctors just mistaken on what there machine read, and they got kicks out of telling my family that I was gone?

I will end this by saying I am sorry if you became frustrated by any concept I dwelt on for more than a couple of words. I wrote this simply because I found myself being asked a lot about whether the character in my new book was dead or not. Please, leave any arguments below. Regardless of whether or not I respond, I will be thinking hard about what you have to say and I will be questioning my personal anguish in relation to your insights.

Price Drop

Hi everyone!

As I have stated (over, and over again) my book is out!

You probably noticed that I had it initially priced at $2.99 CND for digital copies. I am sorry for that: it was a recommended price that I have subsequently fixed.

Now, on Kobo and Kindle, the book is available for 99cents! Softcover copies are already as low as I can make them and still make some sort of profit.

I am still scouring the internet looking for other avenues to put my book for sale. If you know of one, leave a comment below or get hold of me somehow and let me know your idea!