I Despise Steps.

I have been putting a lot of thought into what exactly helped me become (somewhat) adapt at using my chair. I still vividly remember the first few solo voyages being one of the most terrifying experiences in my life. The feeling of a complete loss of control is not a feeling you forget easily.

I hate to be that guy, but using a chair is definitely just that 2-syllable word that has fucked up many across generations: PRACTICE. I went from using an electric chair to a manual one, and that transition was, for lack of a huge backstory, easy. The power one obviously used less effort and was great when I was quadriplegic, but the manual chair is just so… so… Well, the power chair weighed 175KG and my current chair, while it does not fold, weighs 25. I guess the word I was trying to avoid is CONVENIENT. That word paints such a distorted image, so please allow me a moment to explain.

A power chair is great if you need it. If you have no use of your upper body, or are primarily on your own, they make navigating the world effortless. Learning from a power wheelchair was also handy, for me, anyway, because it allowed my body to get used to a different type of movement.

A wheelchair is very different to a car. A car you know that you are moving, but if it was not for the windows, your moving at such a high pace that everything seems gradual. Almost as if it is motion you are meant to be going at. The driver is (hopefully) always in control and, yes it would be a bad idea, you can bail out whenever you feel like it. Riding a bike is similar to a car from the standpoint that it is intentional, yet chosen.

A better comparison for a chair is a skateboard. You can control the movement, speed, and trajectory. However, it is a lot of fuckin’ work, things can mess with the flow you have going very easily.

Take going down that hill in your hometown: smooth in a car or on a bike, but it would not be great if you were on a skate or longboard. If you hit the crack the wrong way, you hit the ground.

Okay… that may have been too extreme of an example. It does work, in a strange way. The attraction to a skate/longboard is the perceived control coupled with immense speed. It does not change the fact that one mistake ends the fun very quickly and causes immense amounts of pain.

The hardest thing to let go of is something that I struggle with to this day. The ability to let go of all control and let someone else move the chair. As mentioned, my Wife and I recently went to Canada’s Wonderland. That place is huge. She had to push me a total of three times, and she had to talk me down from protesting through beads of sweat and clouds of dust a total of ten times: more than she did push.

Now, to make it clear: I am not a man full of pride and arrogance. There is just something innately dehumanizing about the practice of pushing someone who does not need it, and to accept that you need it is similar to admitting defeat.

I have heard people complaining about walking with someone in a chair that it is slow, but one has to remember that for every step you take, I take two. I may not be walking, but I am pushing with both arms. Really, that is truly where the electric wheelchair is fantastic: going out and about. There are also power assist wheels that just give a small boost to the user to make everything easier, but those are bloody expensive.

While doing the limited research I had to do for this piece, I came across the video. Cheesy at times, but very fascinating!

Do you have tips or tricks for using a chair? Please, pass them along! Leave a note in the comments!

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ansP News

I have the next two months worth of stories written. The Patreon’s who have set up payment of $3 a month get a PDF copy as of yesterday. Check your e-mail. If you have not received your copy and you were supposed to, let me know

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No Amazon stuff this week. Instead, check out this live stream of really chill beats I found.

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Books I read? REHASH [Now with links!]

I AM BRINGING THIS BACK
NOW BETTER THAN EVER!

The second of anewsinPublishing got released yesterday, so I have been too busy getting the advertising ready for that. I hope you all liked it! Hannah is a good friend of mine, and it feels like she has been one for many years. I truly loved the piece she submitted! The next one (which is to be released on the first of October) is one that I am very nervous to share with all of you. I have NEVER written like this before.

At the bottom of each blerb is a photo of a version of the book, that is actually a link to the Amazon listing for that book. Give it a tickle and consider buying it. It helps me a lot.

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 visceral 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 specifics 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. Disgusting, 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…

I FORGOT ONE IN THE INITIAL LIST!

Serial Killers Club by Jeff Povey

Probably the darkest, yet still the funniest read on this list. I am embarrassed that I forgot to put this the first time I did this list. It contains the same insightful outlook that you would find in something like Without A Clue which, for those who do not know about that classic movie, is a look at the mystery genre through the eyes of an idiot. The story follows a man who kills killers by accident. My description does not do it justice, but just read the first few pages and you will fall in love with this endearing, twisted, yet still fantastic read.

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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 October first, as well as announcing the next piece.

~Early ANSP Sample Release

I have made available the first bit of Octobers release titled “Sophie” over on the anewsin Publications page. Take a look, let me know what you think!

Also, the Patreons have had the upcoming Almighty Human release sent to their inbox as of last week. If you would like to receive releases a few weeks early, consider donating! It is only 3+ a month!

Also, the next blog post (September 2nd) will be on the books that I recommended a while ago, but with purchase links for Amazon! I will also be touching up what I said, and making it more coherent. Also might contain a book that I forgot to put on the initial list because I am horrible…

I guess I should talk about…

…that thing I did over a week ago. I write these a little bit more than a week ahead usually, so news is delayed.

I should just not time stamp all together.

ANYWAY! Tash and I went to Canada’s Wonderland on August 15th! It was hot, it was a long day, and much was discovered. Mostly, eight hours in the sun without sunscreen is a bad idea: who knew?!

Once we got in the gate (which was a bit longer than anticipated thanks to Tash’s work) we got a map and a coffee and started to sort out the plan for the day. We sat under a tree and our faces dropped when we realized that I needed a special pass that I was unaware of at the time. We knew that there would be some awkward bullshit around me being in a chair and whatnot, but we had to come to that discovery on our own. By this point, we had talked to five or six staff who did not even let on that we needed to go to customer service for a piece of paper.

We did what we needed to. The customer service desk was also the hub for missing children as well as general complaints, so we were number three in line, give or take.

FORTY FIVE FUCKING MINUETS LATER and we finally got in the building for the five minuet thing. I hate people.

Anyway, the first hour passed, and we were on our way. Where? Dragon Fire, of course. We figured that it would be a good introduction for the process around everything to do with the chair.

…and the verdict..?

It was all good. A bit strange: wheelchair users were taken up through the exit so their chair was on the proper side to leave the ride at the end. We got to avoid waiting the queue, but that does not mean that we got to skip the line all together. They would base our load time on the estimated wait time for the line. We might be one circuit faster, but we still waited. At times, we would be behind the gate for thirty minuets. It was entertaining usually to see all the workings of the employees as they scrambled to make sure everything and everyone was safe.

There was only one time that was awkward. The ride we were waiting for broke literally the time before we were to be let on. I mean, shit happens, but it was a bit disheartening.

The bitch of the trip was how uneven the paths were. I pulled the muscle in my shoulder trying to keep myself moving in the desired direction, and Tash almost had to bail on a couple of rides from being exhausted pushing my chair up the ramps.

FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS!

The main point that I wanted to say is that, minus sun burns and sore muscles, being in a wheelchair was not a deterrent for going to Wonderland. If you go, just expect a fuck tonne of work getting from point A to B.

INTERESTING REMINDER!

Almighty Human by Hannah Jordan gets released soon. I hope you like it as much as I do!

I am taking submissions for the following months. Please, e-mail me at jay.garden.1188(at)gmail.com for more into!

…and again: I have to thank my Patreon supporters for making it financially viable to release these every month! Next goal is to make sure I can pay someone to do art for each release, since I cannot do visual art in any capacity.

I talked to someone…

I actually talked to a psychiatrist. Mind you, it was not in the traditional sense. It was through an interesting resource at betterhelp.com where they do sessions anyway that would be beneficial to you.Was it my cup of tea? Well, not fully…

The system they have in place is fantastic. You can either talk to someone through messages or over the phone. I had this fantastic person who was actually engaging for a bit. She was asking valid questions and proded me to open up into areas that I had not explored in a while.

The issue I had with the system is that it was not for me. Not from the sense that it was always available: that part I found very interesting and handy. The issue I ran into was that I forwarded her towards with blog when she started treading over topics that I had written about recently. That would have been fine, except she vanished for hours. In hind sight, she was reading, but to me she just… disappeared.

It was about two days later that I received another message from her saying “I think you sound angry. Care to elaborate?”

Ironically, I was too angry at that statement to politely reply, and I cancelled my account immediately. You see, there is no ‘contact had read’ notification. From my interaction, she just vanished for a day or more. I was disheartened, but relieved at the same time.

The relief comes from a place where I worry that I am more broken than what I know. In the brief conversation that we had, she let me know that I was not. The concern about my internalized anger is something I knew existed, and I have been working in my own way to fix it (which is probably not healthy).

I digress, my point of writing this is to point out to my readers that such a service exists. It is relatively inexpensive, as well. I would recommend that everyone, even if it is just one session, give it a try. The psychologists are all accredited. Yes, it is strange baring yourself to a screen, but at least it is better than spinning in your mind waiting for the next cat video to upload.

Todays recommended buy is from Cat Power. Sun is an interesting release for her, much less blues bases than her other albums, but still maintains that etherial, dream-like sound. Easiest comparison is Norah Jones but more commercial and more drugged-out.

On a side-note: another thank you is in order to Joey and Bree. Your Patreon contributions have cemented ansP releases every month this year

A tale of Toronto ALSO news about selling out.

It has been far too long since I last wrote about me. Although, it could be argued that the post I made in reference to Shameful Sheep back in April was just that, but I digress. There is something horrible about Toronto.

For those who do not know, Toronto is Canada’s biggest city. I mean, sitting at a population just shy of 3 million is laughable to some, but living there has been a dream of mine for what seems like forever!

My wife and I have made three separate attempts to go to events there. Though we were late for the first couple, it does not forgive the fact that it is one of the least wheelchair friendly cities I have ever tried to explore.

For example, and since it literally just happened so it is fresh in my mind, we had tickets to a comedy festival. We found out after the fact that it was outside and got canceled due to weather not being fun and whatnot, but we could not get parking anywhere near the place. In fact: the only parking we could attain was down a 45 degree hill 20 minuets from the venue. That is not saying that it was not possible, not at all. What it is saying is that we would have had to have been 45 minuets earlier to even pretend to arrive on time.

Gumble grumble something about first world problems grumble grumble…

Whee! Tangent time!

Something I have been working on is now I am an associate of Amazon.ca/com/co.uk. Why? I want to do this full time.

Check that.

NEED to do this full time. I am, after all, an epileptic paraplegic. I am not saying that the workplace is against hiring such a high-risk individual, that would be illegal! What I am saying is that it is very hard to find a place that would be interested in hiring someone of my “medical pedigree.”

With that said, if you know of somewhere that would hire me, please let me know! My animals need all the foods they can get!

Fancy new tier rewards on the ol’ Patreon! $5 and $7 dollars will either get your name used as a hero or a villain in an upcoming ansP release!

So, my plan for the next while [anyway] is to post a link to a recommended item every week. Each item will have a brief description and a reason to love it, and the image that accompanies that will link to the Amazon page selling it. Please, consider this.

It took me FAR too long to figure this out, but below is a link to one of my — *AHEM* — my FAVOURITE album of all time. The lyrics paint such an honest portrait of love ending. The music is haunting, yet beautiful. It is honest, yet fantastical. Seriously, look into it. If you are going to buy it, try through the link below. It goes right to the Amazon page. Album is for fans of Sparta and, well, people into good music. It is far from metal, but a good appreciation of heavier music would help in understanding why I consider this album so Godly.

Recommended for fans of Sparta, At the Drive In, and people who want Death Cab For Cutie to have more of an edge.

Click the image below if you are interested in purchasing!

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.