5 Years?

Hey, did you know that I have had this space to yell into for five years today?

If you have been here since the beginning, thank you.

If you have not, welcome! Everyone say hi to the n00b!

Anyway, I just thought to immortalize the anniversary with this post. Please support me on Patreon!

I love you.

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.

Classic Album Review :: Buck 65 — Secret House Against the World

The early 2000’s were a formative time in my music learning. I got a job in a music store in 2007, so a large portion of “new” releases I got were from that time. I did spend the first year or two going back into the annals of history finding everything I missed. Buck 65 was one of those things that I missed.

Strange, yet perfect: Buck 65 combines country music with Hip-Hop. When I say that, there is a good chance that your mind jumped to Old Town Road. That is a fair jump, but far from what I was trying to say.

Buck 65 takes the framework of country, then masks his inability to sing (?) by speaking the lines over the instrumentation. It makes everything incredibly unique and, on this album, is beautiful.

The wording in the last paragraph was intentional. I love this album, but I find that Buck 65 can be grating. Therefore, too much can exist in this instance. Not with this album.

It opens with the closest to Johnny Cash you can get with the song Rough House Blues. Then, like a light switch, genre change in the song Devil’s Eyes. It’s an almost Flamenco style, with it’s sharp staccato hits to create the music. Track three, Le 65isme, is almost my favourite all around. Probably the closest this album get’s to being traditional Hip-Hop, but hinges it’s entire premiss on broken sounds a drum beat that doesn’t make any sense.

The rest of the album continues that trend expressed in the paragraph prior: country guitar lines, minimalist drums, lazy vocals and Hip-Hop feel. The track where everything changes is The Floor. This song hinges on a very simple piano line and a horrific poem expressing a broken childhood. This song, more than any song I have ever found, sounds as sad as the words express. I love it.

This song does not reflect the rest of the album.

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.

Pi Day and Mild Regrets

HAPPY PI DAY!

It’s a not-real holiday, so if you were out of the loop: you’re forgiven. However! It is the most important date of the year!
(For those who never payed attention in secondary school math, PI is the ratio representing the circumference of a circle. The actual number is infinite, but the first few digits are 3.14)

Now that I have made you feel bad for not celebrating the most interesting ratio in modern mathematics, let’s talk about my regret!

I got the final numbers for the first month of my book being out. I have sold 5 copies. I kind of blame myself for continuing with the title “You’re Not Dead” because now I am wondering if people think that it is the same book.

If you are one of those people: IT’S NOT THE SAME BOOK. I mean, the physical copies even have a different cover! Kind of. They are black and they don’t have “story of a boy” on them, BUT THAT’S CHANGE!

I’m not sure how I would have changed it, anyway. I have decided to go along with my second book, just giving myself a couple of weeks to get back to writing. I still think You’re Not Dead may wind up being one of the best things I write for a while.

I find it sad how often in art that the first project is the best. I realize, as I type, that this case is limited. It does happen, however. I couldn’t express how many first albums are my favourite in a bands discography. Maybe I am equating sequels as equal to stand-alone and separate works. I abdicate that is not fair.

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.

Be Socially Awkward

Hi! Hello.

FUCKING HI!

Yeah. Big surprise! I like being socially awkward. Why? Because it keeps things interesting! I enjoy seeing how other people will react to me saying an off-colour joke or being too loud in a library.

From what I can see, there are four kinds of people:..
well, more than four kinds. But, this is observation, and I am too lazy to dive into every GD personality type!

There are people who shy away from your actions. The people who either cover everything up OR they try to silence you. They are the ones who take a few moments to figure out how to best do something the first time. They are (overly) conscious of everything they say, and actively get offended on other peoples behalf for ever thing said.

Then, there are the people (like me) who don’t care what they say. There is never malice behind what they say, but they do take some form of sick satisfaction from watching the other group cringe. Usually, they say the wrong things on purpose to prove the point that the true basis for the hatred of topics or terms is just as offensive as saying them.

Then, there are the bigots. Those who say stupid shit because they are trying to be funny. Also in this classification are those who say things to hurt other people. I have little respect for them (yes, I do see the irony) and I have a hard time understanding how people like this can still exist.

The fourth category is the most unfortunate. Those who say something with no intent to offend anyone, but they say egregious things that get them into trouble. Listening to someone from this category is an exercise in schadenfreude.

Being socially awkward is more than just being offensive, and that’s where people seem to fall a bit off the mark. Being socially awkward, to me, is bending expectations and unspoken laws of normality. Pointing out flaws in your person to a group of people who don’t know you? That can create the most fantastic miasma of groans that can never be expressed in text.

The hardest part, for me, is letting people who don’t know me well that I am joking around. There is nothing worse than pointing out that I’m in a wheelchair to have it followed by dismissive comments about how other’s have it worse or things of-the-like. Even worse than that is when someone piggy-backs off my statement and follows it up with something actually offensive. Just because the cripple said something detrimental to some cause does not give an able a pass on stupid.

How Long?!

I have been doing this for just shy of five years. I will be making a proper declaration at that time, but I just wanted to say that I am disappointed with myself. Also, incredibly proud of myself!

Let’s start by talking about the disappointment. I have done 340 posts or so, but I think it would have been cooler if I was about to hit 500! I realize that it is unreasonable to believe that I could have hit that, given my update schedule was weekly for two years and monthly just prior to that. I think that my less than 400 posts in that short time is very fair, but it doesn’t stop me from fantasizing how badass it would have been to hit that number at the same time as five years! I’m just daydreaming, don’t mind me!

Now, for the pride. The fact that I have been doing this of my own volition for this long makes me very proud. I have done bands for longer than five years, but I was influenced/motivated by others to do so. I loved it, don’t read too far into it the wrong way. I still got motivation from outside sources and from the instant (and very obvious) appraisal.

Writing is far from instant. It can be weeks before I hear anything, and in the case of books, literal months. I write both the blogs and books for me first. I like what I’m writing and I like the voice that I write in. I find it entertaining, and I hope the readers do as well!

Patreon support has been fantastic, and much needed. I make sure to give every one of them a shoutout in my book (as of date of publication) and will do so in the event of the next one. For those of you who have donated, please expect the next anewsinPublication on the first. I am excited about this one. Not that I think any are particularly bad, but some I do tend to get attached to.

Let’s get awkward…

There is something that I haven’t voiced on this blog. Or, at least not in a long time. My friend’s significant other gave birth to a beautiful set of twins on my birthday. What year? The same birthday that they pulled the life support from me and I was expected to die (2013). Needless to say, I never forget how old they are.

I don’t really have much of a blog post to put here, except that I was thinking about it earlier and I felt that I had to share it. Fuck knows my wife is probably sick of me telling her over and over again, so now YOU poor people get to deal with this bit of information.

I just think it a bit of fun trivia. It doesn’t explain reincarnation or the like because I didn’t die. You would think that there would be horrible memories tied to their existence, but quite the opposite. I am happy to share a birthday with them, and extremely proud to have them in my circle. I think my friend is a fantastic father. I’d be remised for not adding that I never pictured him as a father, but that’s a story for another day.

So, that’s your bit of shinfo for the day.

OH! Air cushions are still the worst. I’m sitting here in INCREDIBLE pain and discomfort. I have used so many patches and so much duct tape fixing small holes that keep appearing, but somehow I always miss one or five.

I cannot comment on all air cushions, but this one is split into four quadrants. It makes it easy to estimate where holes are, because just that area is affected. HOWEVER! If it isn’t totally visible, life is lived constantly trying to keep up with inflating and shifting air around the structure. Thank fuck I’m patient and not one to complain offline.

Two more pieces of information shat don’t matter! I hit 150 followers the other day! I’m sure that most of them are advertising and hopes for a follow-for-follow, but I still did it!

And, finally, a reminder that I have a book available! You can buy it here, it is on Amazon, but I’m not going to make that post easy because they are weird about listing that shit. Also, it’s a huge re-write of You’re Not Dead, plus all the anewsinPublishing stuff I had written up to the point of publication! New, sexy, black cover on physical versions. Significantly longer, but not too long to be daunting. GRAH I love it so. I’m just really bad at advertising, so if you wouldn’t mind telling anyone who would be interested about it, that would be nifty!