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?!?!?!

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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.

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!

this does not matter

As promotion for my upcoming book, I thought I would release the first few pages to you all. I hope you enjoy!

Side note: I am setting up as many places to purchase the book as possible. So far, I have Amazon and Kobo set up to start distribution on the 5th. Do you know of somewhere else I can release it?


A new town. A new place to create a name.

If only Joel looked around upon earlier visits, he may have noticed just how dilapidated everything is. Run-down stores with broken windows and doors, the road was cracked and tarnished, and there was a distinct lack of population. The trees looked tired: their leaves were scarce and branches broken. Even the clouds looked as if they hated existing and the sun was keeping its face hidden.

Joel was a standard mid-twenties North American. He has no illusions for how difficult life is going to be financially. The financial markets were already ruined by the generations of the past. To get into the job market as a graphic designer took years of school. He would be angry about everything, but he knows there is no point in complaining about it.

“That is just the way things are.” is his mantra.

“The things I do for a new opportunity…” he muttered to himself. He had just accepted a transfer to a location near by for work. Rent here was substantially cheaper. The only downside was that he had to move because of proximity. His prior job was a quick ten-minute drive from his apartment, where this new place was still going to be thirty-minutes if he moved to a few towns over.

Why had he not seen people? It was a Saturday afternoon, yet the roads were bare. Yes, the stores in the area were derelict, but there was no one even mowing lawns or driving to near by towns. It all seemed surreal and left a horrible taste in Joel’s mouth. He found himself dwelling on his purpose here once again while he turned the corner off the main drag.

His piece-of-shit car moaned as he sped up to hurry to his destination. He was close, and he was almost excited. He got a place already furnished, and he was very excited to lie on the couch for an hour while he got to contemplate how the next week will go. He was too far from home to have visitors.

Finally, he arrived at his new house. There was no drive way, so he parked on the side of the desolate street and oozed out of the car, closing the door behind him gently as to not knock the bumper off.

The house was a shit-hole: it reminded him of something from a cliche horror movie.

At least it matched his car.

The front had a screen door that was barely on its hinges. There was little grass on the front lawn, and the bits that were there needed to be mowed. The windows looked tired: he could see through the frame almost better than the glass.

“How fucking bleak.” Joel said to himself out loud. No one was around to hear him. He chuckled in spite of himself.

“New trait: talking to myself!”

He walked towards the property. There was a tiny walkway that, at one time, had been beautiful. Now it was just a collection of light-grey cement stones. The path went near a tree that had clearly been in that place for over a century. The leaves were looking nearly dead, and several branches barely hung on. At least it still had bark.

The door was preceded by a porch that had five stairs leading from the ground to it. Far from grand: the wood had started to decay and Joel was instantly concerned that there was mold. Somehow the house was looking worse and worse every second.

Joel stepped onto the porch and was pleased that he did not sink to the dirt ground. The wood was sound. He pulled out his keys and slid them into the lock for the screen door. The lock squealed when he turned the tumbler. The door swung towards him and slammed hard into the opposing wall with a loud bang. Joel spun around, concerned that he disturbed someone. Kind of hoping he would see someone if, for no other reason, to ask about local news, weather, anything. Unfortunately, no one was there. He was alone. Deflated, he collected himself and proceeded to unlock the interior door.

Or, he would have unlocked the door, if it had a lock. He turned the knob and the door slowly creaked open.

“Nice and safe.” Joel said with a heavy sigh. “Why have a lock on the flimsy outer door and nothing on the strong inner door?”

Confused, he walked into the front hall and was pleasantly surprised. For having such a terrible introduction, the house was beautiful. He was met just inside the door by a simple staircase going up to a second flood and an opening into the sitting room. Through the frame, he could see the okay-condition couch and a CRT television.

He was taken back for a moment: it was 2017! CRT’s have been out of mainstream production for at least 10 years.

“Well: home sweet home, I guess…” Joel mustered the strength to make a snide remark instead of being too disheartened. He did not hate the ascetic, to be clear. He just never pictured himself living in an 80’s horror movie.

At the very least, the air in the building was clear and clean.

Benefit of being out of the city, Joel thought to himself.

He took a quick look around the house. He was quite happy to find that there was a sturdy looking bed upstairs and a stove and fridge in the kitchen. The stove has a very old gas-burning range but the fridge looked to have been replaced in the last ten years. He turned the knobs on the stove-range and it clicked to life.

“At least that works.”

The fridge was in tandem with a freezer on top. Very traditional, but he at least knew that it would work.

Suddenly, the day took hold of Joel. He felt exhausted. The drive was not far but it was far enough.

He changed into his night attire and retired up the old stairs. They were beautiful: dark wood and the staircase was bordered by two light-wood banisters. The bars that connected them is a black steel. The stairs followed his steps with a deep creek. He expected as such.

He could not believe how almost exhausted he was. It was only nine-o’clock. He was used to being out seeing friends and experiencing what the city he lived in has to offer.

Now, there were some positives in the situation. He had moved out on his own, finally. He was away from his friends who, though he loved them, were all bad influences on him. He had a car, and civilization was not too far away. The property was also near main highways and arterial roads so he knew that, if he wanted to, he could go into the bigger city. Yes: he was exactly where he wanted to be. Just out of the way to not be badgered, but close enough to everything that no-one had an excuse not to come around.

He was still bothered by the lack of people walking around. Though the clouds, it was a beautiful day! It seemed like a ghost town where he could have screamed in the streets and never have hear about it again.

“Fuck!” Joel exclaimed. “I forgot my bedding in the car!”

He was too tired to dwell on this, he thought. Joel called it early. He would wake up early tomorrow to move in his belongings in: the green couch on the main floor was perfect for sleeping on tonight.

Chapter 2

Note to self: get blinds.

Joel woke to the sun glaring through the window. He was disorientated, still sleepy, and had a headache.

“Good morning, world..” he mustered through gritted teeth.

He slowly got to his feet. His head felt heavy and his limbs were sore. It turns out that sleeping on the couch was not the greatest idea. At least he figured out which way the sun rose in the morning.

He wanted coffee.

He left his coffee beans and grinder in the car last night.

Last night he thought that to be a grand idea.

This morning he thought it was stupid.

“Damnit, Joel! Why do you do this to yourself?”

He stood up slowly and stretched. The house looked beautiful in the morning he thought to himself as he wiped the sleep from his face. Beams of light cascaded through the window in the room he was in and he could see it radiate into the hall beside him.

He put a light-fabric hoodie on, adjusted the jeans he slept in the night before, and pushed open the door. It had stayed shut all night, but it was still more of an image thing than a safety thing: the latch had not even fastened, and it was only held in place by the frame.

He slowly marched down the “path” back towards his car. There was something strange that he noticed: there were no birds calling. Joel knows that he is not literally in the country, but he thought they were far enough from civilization that he would hear them on a morning like this one. Even in the city, he would hear one or two serenading the morning.

He arrived at his car and opens the back right door. His things spill out onto the shoulder of the road. Joel moves as fast as he can for it being first thing in the morning, but fails to save majority of the luggage.

“Fuckin’… I’ll deal with it later.” he mutters in contempt.

Joel is smart.

Joel kept his coffee grinder and beans near the top of the pile for such a situation.

Joel is stupid.

Joel had to take another eternity of routing through the car to find a mug.

A total of twelve minute. Joel cannot hide his smile as he heads back to the house, beans in one hand, cup in the other. He was successful.

He loved his coffee, and he needed it to survive the day.

It was not quite a physical addiction to caffeine, but an emotional dependency was still in the cards.

On his walk back, he finally got to see the house in the sun. There used to be grass in the front yard, but now there were just weeds. The tree that he half noticed last night was a lot worse than he initially thought. The porch was actually in better condition than he thought, but it desperately needed a new coat of paint.

The house was a very traditional-looking two-story house. Pointed roof, huge front window that opened into the front room, and entrance doors that were completely useless. Considering his impressions when he pulled in, it could have been worse.

SLAM

Just then, a loud noise startled Joel from his thoughts.

SLAMSLAMSLAMSLAM


THAT IS ALL YOU GUYS GET FROM ME!!!

Seriously, though: if you know of somewhere else I can distribute it, let me know. Unfortunately, I am (again) doing it all myself.