The Remains {ANEWSIN 15 — JASON GARDEN}

The preceding story was written a few months ago with no plans for release. I have a different story that I am working on, and I really want to release something, so I hope this works!

The buildings were all dilapidated. The windows were broken, and the walls of the buildings were plush with the road. Frames stood proud where doors once shielded the inside from the unknown, and stood empty adorned with a hue of lapis lazuli blue.

The sky was red, like fire, but the air was cold. The wind was terrible, and cut through any attempts to guard against them was ill conceived and fruitless. Only the statues of old dared to weather out the impending storms of photons being released by an unrelenting sun.

There were no living things here.

My journey was to find you. Other things in my life may have been more pressing: more important. This need for your embrace was too overwhelming. It drove me to ignore my feelings of discomfort and allowed me to carry through this mission that, at the time, I believed to be of great importance.

Daunted by the silence, I picked up a stone. My intention was to throw it, but at that moment I was enamoured by its symmetry. It lay perfectly in my hand, ignorant of its intended fate. Who knew the reason that it was where I found it. Its story will be forever hidden from me, but I knew that this is how life had to be.

Life can be just as mysterious as the history of that rock. We jump through hoops, do things we know are fruitless and dumb, yet we end up where we have to regardless of what brought us to that point. No matter what forces we explore, and what life choices we make, events out of our control will stifle any attempts to lead a perfectly happy life. A life that we deem perfect in every way. This stone reminded me all of that. This stone, in that moment, reminded me just how chaotic everything was.

Against my better judgment, I threw the stone. I had to: I was starting to get too far into thoughts of existence. I was beginning to be consumed with expressions of impossibilities far too great to fathom. I was starting to loose any ability to maintain composure in the face of the world that I found myself engaged in. I started to notice the debris that build up at the sides of paths, and the concrete golems that line the path I was standing on.

I fall to my knees, face pointed towards the red sky. Tears flowed from my eyes as I relive all of the hate, the torment, that I had confronted over the last decade.

I had hurt so many people; either out of necessity, or greed. Never malicious, but always knowing what the outcome would be.

I had failed so many times. Some of the trials were failed out of flawed execution. Some of the attempts failed due to self-sabotage. All of them: premature.

I rose to my feet. I had to do this; I had to finish this journey. Even if it meant the end of everything, I had to find you. You deserved that, and I was the one who had to give you the reprise. You deserved the reprise, if not the world.

Is it possible that I hold you in too high regard? Have I blinded myself to your flaws and created an impossible manifestation in my mind of who you are? If that is indeed the case, will I flee as soon as you fail to live up to the incredible depiction that I have in my mind? Or, will I just blame you implicitly for all of the ways that you will fail me?

Is it possible that I am overthinking all of this?

I realize that I have stood in place now for almost five minutes. I chuckle to myself as I start to move forward. I must have looked completely broken to an outside observer. Glassy eyes, pursed lips, contemplating everything and nothing at the same time.

As I take my stride into the corrupted village, I find my mind wandering to places to distract myself from the wreckage around me.

I fixate on the eventuality and inevitably to death. A nice simple topic to dwell on. I call it that with no intent of sarcasm. People tend to dwell on the topic of what happens after. They create the grand fixations with ideas of eternal life, reincarnation, and a utopia where the good can live out a reality of there choosing. I choose to focus on the only provable direction: when we die, we die.

It is not that I have issue with every other decision to entertain the ideas that there is a greater purpose. I am envious, in fact. Call me someone with no faith or imagination, but I cannot begin to structure my life with the assumption that there may be a payoff in the end.

From everything I can see, this is it.

And, to that end, I choose to live my life as well as I can. I choose to be happier now than live as if everything I do will benefit me later. If I am miserable now, what is to matter if I live a better life later? What is even the point in self-improvement if I am not to enjoy whatever I achieve?

The streets are still quiet. Never have I dwelt on the idea that I could miss the sounds of birds, or even wind. Until you find yourself in isolation, those things are a kind of white-noise: an assumption that they will always be there. Some might even find them to be intrusive.

When they are absent, you truly notice how bleak reality can be. Paranoia sets in as every step one takes creates echos that seem to increase in volume. I keep looking over my shoulder just to make sure that I am just as alone as I thought I was just a moment ago.

This journey would be so much better if I was not alone. It has been days since I last spoke, let alone spoke to another living being. Every now and then, I will talk to a tree or a rock. I do this to make sure that I can actually still speak. It doubles as a reminder that the world still knows that I am here, as well. 

The Future of ANEWSIN

As I think I have hinted, if not fully admitted, there will not be an anewsin for a while. I am busy working on my next book, and I am trying to flush out new ideas instead of getting fixated on new short stories. Therefore, if you do support me on Patreon for new updates early, I would not be offended if you pull your subscription for the time being.

WITH ALL OF THAT SAID!

If you do decide to support me, even just one dollar a month, you will get your name in the thank you section of my upcoming release!

I scrapped a bunch, about ten pages, but I am still trucking along. It looks like the book will be a series of shorts again. As of right now, I have no plan to do a through-narrative like I did with You’re Not Dead. I mean, that is just how it is going right now. I might, and probably will, change my mind in the future.

I have only about two hours of work present in the project right now. That equates to seven pages, or just over 3000 words. I am trying my hardest not to put a goal because I feel like it stifles what I can create. I might try to reach goals closer to finishing if I have, for instance, 99 pages or something like that.

I just made this post to update you all on what I am doing right now.
REMEMBER: donating just a dollar a month to Patreon gets your name published!
Oh: and remember that I love you.

Hello, friends!

I know that I have griped on this topic before, but I am looking for a literary agent!

I do have another book in the works right now, it probably will not be done until next year, but I want to have You’re Not Dead attached to a traditional publisher.

It is segmented: half the book are short stories which have no baring on the main narrative. There is a common theme, however, and the flow (though I am biased) is great.

Someone recently asked me to define the general theme of this book. I replied with “Black Comedy” because I think that it can be hilarious. I am well aware that I might be alone in that. I also find a lot of Chuck Palahniuk to be funny as Hell.

Anyway, I am very happy with the rate at which the book is selling. Yes, it does contain the first release, but there is SO much more! I think the depressing factoids that I book end each chapter are a good time. I realize that this book can be a bit too bleak for some, but I also think that can be part of the appeal for others. It is not very often that you get a piece of media that expresses such dissatisfaction with a large host of society.

Back to my initial point: I am looking for a literary agent. I am certain that, with the correct team on my side, I can be taken more seriously in this world.

You’re Terrible {ANEWSIN VOL.12 — Jason Garden}

\\A conversation between two writers named Jerome and Kelsey. They are sitting in a mall food court with only soft drinks in front of them. \\

Jerome
Hey. Kelsey. Did you read over the rough copy of that story I sent over a few weeks ago?

Kelsey
Yeah. I did.

Jerome
Verdict?

Kelsey
It’s fuckin’ terrible.

Jerome
What’s wrong with it?

Kelsey
You try to write dialog and maybe shouldn’t. People don’t talk that way.

Jerome
What do you mean?

Kelsey
It’s stilted. Awkward. Like, consider these line:

A man steps forward. “You know that this is how we make our living. We need any sort of identification to prove we killed the right group. Now, hurry your smoke, Skylar. We gotta go.”

“Fuck you, Steve.” Skylar proclaims under her breath.

Does something feel, off, about that exchange?

Jerome
Yep.

Kelsey
What do you mean “Yep”? Do you do it on purpose?

Jerome
Depends on the situation I’m writing. Most people—

Kelsey
It should always be fluid. Otherwise it’s not natural.

Jerome
When do you ever—

Kelsey
What I find helpful is actually have a person read out loud with you to bounce the conversation back and forth.

Jerome
Okay, but that—

Kelsey
Otherwise, you run the risk of things sounding manufactured, or worse: meandering.

Jerome
So, do you think that I should always do that?

Kelsey
Why not?

Jerome
I sometimes don’t have someone to “run lines” with me. I try to read things out loud, but I don’t—

Kelsey
…don’t what? Know where to put inflection?

Jerome
—I was going to say that I don’t know how to cut myself off. I can’t seem to create the awkward that is actual conversation.

Kelsey
Then don’t cut yourself off.

Jerome
Do you realize how hard it is to create a natural conversation without cutoff’s and awkward pausing?

Kelsey
What?

Jerome
It’s very rare to have a conversation flow in real life where no one stammers or cuts someone off.

Kelsey
We’re doing just fine.

Jerome
You cut me off at least twice so far in this friendly banter that we’re having now.

Kelsey
You call this friendly banter?

Jerome
What?

Kelsey
I fucking hate your writing. It’s depressing. It’s morose. The ending is always left in space. Your language is too complicated for some.

Jerome
So, you’re saying that I should just stop?

Kelsey
NO! I’m saying that you should just get better. You seem to have written yourself into a corner where you don’t seem to grow or change. 

Your best work was a few stories ago, and you are just stagnating. Your last piece was, in your own words, similar to what you would have written in high school. And your best work is not even that good.

Jerome
So, what you’re saying is: you do like my early work?

Kelsey
No. I’m saying that you seem to think you’re okay at this. Why keep beating your head against the wall?

Jerome
… because I have to?

Kelsey
Have to? Or want to?

Jerome
Both.

Kelsey
How can it be both?

Jerome
Simple. I write for me, and the ten or so people that think my writing is worth their time.

Kelsey
Okay, but how—

Jerome
I write because I can’t draw, I can’t play drums how I used to, I can’t sing… so what other artistic thing am I doing to do?

Kelsey
So, you’re admitting that you just do this as a kind of masturbation?

Jerome
No, you pretentious prick!

Kelsey
Then why do you do this?

Jerome
Because, unlike what you say, I don’t think I suck. I have points on society that I want, or need, to make. I have opinions that I want to share. I want to challenge the ideas of spirituality, religion, and life. 

I don’t want to lay my opinions bare, because I have nothing more grandiose than ideas. Those ideas, however, do make some decent short stories.

Kelsey
So, why make them public?

Jerome
What do you mean?

Kelsey
If you are doing it for you, why infest the world with your drivel?

Jerome
Why not?

Kelsey
Because you’re fucking terrible.

//long, awkward pause

Kelsey
You read my latest book, right?

Jerome
I understand it’s merit, but it’s not my cup-o-tea.

Kelsey
What do you mean? It’s got love, death, suspense, death…

Jerome
Yeah. But not my kind of thing.

Kelsey
What do you mean?

Jerome
I’m not going to dunk on it. Just leave it at “it’s not my cup-o-tea”.

Kelsey
There’s ‘dunking’ angles?

Jerome
Drop it—

Kelsey
I didn’t think there were dunking angles…?

Jerome
KELSEY (awkward pause)

Jerome
Thank you. Can we get off the topic now? What are you working on next?

Kelsey
I’m working on a young-adult novel about a boy and a girl in high school

Jerome (under breath)
original.

Kelsey
What was that?

Jerome
Nothing. Don’t worry about—

Kelsey
—it? You just want me to drop this line of inquiry and pretend you didn’t say something?

Jerome
Why are you pushing this? I want to just drop the conversation and move on.

Kelsey
TELL ME

Jerome
No.

Kelsey
C’mon!

Jerome
Fine. You asked for this.

Kelsey
Fuckin’ finally! Thank you!

Jerome
You’re terrible. I hate your writing. You’re stories have nothing original to offer. You’re dialect is pedestrian at best. In fact, you probably don’t understand that line. You probably don’t see anything wrong with that way of doing things. You probably think it’s all fine as long as people buy into your shit, but you do NOTHING to hold yourself up to a test of time. Fuck: in five years, your books will be in a discount bin.

\\Kelsey abruptly leaves, knocking her chair into seats behind her. Jerome continues to sit, starring at his half-full cup\\

Kelsey
Fuck you. You’re a waste.

This was an attempt at something different. I have ideas to continue it, maybe write a full scene…

I have to thank Bekki, Jacob and Casey for direction.

No, I will probably never make this anything more than text. I’m not a director. Hell, I am barely a writer, but I thought I would try my hand at script writing for fun.

SUPPORT ME ON PATREON TO GET THESE EARLY!

I would like to take this moment to highlight that I released another book! Well, it’s a re-edit of You’re Not Dead, but it includes a large collection of other stuff! It’s now over 200 pages!

Any Patreon who donates any amount of money gets their name in the ‘thank you’ section!

Oh: Glory Days!

I got my copies of my book today!

I’m still looking for distribution sites to link to, but the couple I have found have been listed on the usual page! As I have mentioned before, I will let you know as they come to my attention.

Anyway, make sure you are buying the right copy! Physical versions are listed over 200 pages, and digital copies are listed over 150 pages. Of course, that is due to formatting and whatnot. Content is not effected.

This week.

I am letting you know release dates as I learn them.

I just confirmed layout today, and printing is supposed to be starting with the book being available on Friessen Press’ website. Copies will be sent out through Amazon soon after, but distribution may take a while still.

I will state this again, in bold letters this time: I WILL BE POSTING LINKS FOR PURCHASING WHEN I GET THEM.

If anything comes up in the time before proper release, I will let you know!

I miss you…

I hate that I miss you.

You were only in my life really for about a year. I knew you before, but as passing friends. We had about 10 hours of conversation saved up over the five years that we knew each other existed, and about 5 hours of that was sarcastic quips and mockery. We started talking more after we both left hospital and discovered that we had sickness in common.

You were my unicorn. I had not heard, at the time of our meeting, anyone else who had ever lived with viral meningoencephalitis. Not to belabour the point, but to find someone in my circle who had survived the first year within my circle was absolutely mind blowing. I can not express how important just knowing anyone else who was diagnosed was.

I am not saying we are the same in any way. You would hate that. You always expressed how comparison of sickness was pointless, and I carry that idea with me to this day. You would be proud of the idea that I haven’t done so since you last talked to me about how pointless it was.

The last conversation we had, we laughed about how messed up the world is. We seemed to share an appreciation for the humour that comes with this life. You were part of the inspiration for my continued writing.

Anyway, it would be ironic if I used your passing back in November for advertising. To push your name as a banner for my book is the most horrible and disrespectful thing ever. That is why I have not mentioned your name up to this point, and I won’t by the end of this post. I promise. That is the least I could do.

I did, however, dedicate the book to you. To your family. To your friends.

I am re-releasing the first one, fixed up and not as horrible. I am putting all the short stories I had released before the turn of the decade in a form you could have read. That I wanted you to read.

You always gave me shit for not having them in print. I hope this is a decent dedication to your memory.

Happy Birthday.

Hey: Some news!

  1. I finally got around to editing some footage from The Twin playing Warped Tour. I have had the footage for a number of years, and I finally got around to editing and fixing all of it. YouTube compresses the footage in a way that makes the audio very blown out, but I am happy with the way it turned out!
  2. As I am sure you have noticed if you follow me on either Twitter or Facebook, I have been shopping my book around for an updated, and better, release. Friessen Press has agreed to re-release the book with all the revisions and additions. You’re Not Dead has tripled in size, and I will keep you up to date with actual releases and whatnot. The latest release, if all goes well, is early 2020.
  3. The last anewin release has performed very poorly. I think just due to it not being advertised well on my part. A large part of that is because I have been so distracted with the re-write of You’re Not Dead and contacting agents. EXCUSES EXCUSES. My end point is that I am very proud of it and feel that it is being ignored. At the risk of alienating people, the point of this story was to illustrate the issue with not being afflicted by what you are rallying for: the almost dismissal of situational differences because of the systematic coat of paint left by society.
  4. Why am I posting while on “hiatus”? Simple. The break was more to announce a dramatic decrease in updates, not to up and vanish. I do not see myself doing many more releases before the new year, but you never know what will happen.
Enjoy the noise!