No.

I have been stewing over this topic for days. The idea that you can do anything if you try hard enough, you can make it. I hate this concept, and I want to fight it to the best of my ability. The wall I hit, however, is that I cannot dispute the necessity of trying regardless of end position. If you work hard, you will be compensated. If you do not work hard, you will be repremanded. To assume that it just takes time and elbow greas to make it somewhere can actually be both heartbreaking, and damaging to standing in the greater endevour climate.

I spent over 10 years in bands trying my hardest to make it. There was a constant climb upwards in the scene, do not misunderstand my points, but I always put out multiple times what I made. I offset any sort of financial downfall with jobs. I did music because I loved it and needed to do something creative. I never had any illusions that I could live off of it, though it was an end goal.

That unfortunate reality goes for any artistic doing. You can try, you can succeed, and you can fail. Sometimes, all three in the same week. To assume that you are going to make it big is dangerous. It does happen, but it does not more often. There are so many things at play when considering a career in the arts, and doing one thing is often not the path to go down. To assume that if you just write that one song that everyone will love and you’ll be fine is actually a safer bet than believing that your band will do gang busters.

Another way to look at it: I was a drummer. That means, that under copyright laws in Canada for a musical composition, I had rights to the recordings of my drums. If the primary song writers could rerecord my drums without my knowledge, they could have stripped me of any financial rights. Lucky for me, I played with collections of stand-up people who never even thought of doing things like that. Instead, we kept playing. Getting gigs whenever we could, going on short tours, recording albums out of our pockets, and not eating.

10 plus years of that. Now, three years writing. No money made, but a fuck-tonne put out. That’s part of why I opened up the Patreon. just $1 a month gets you a subscription. That means you get a list of your name on this site, plus you get ansP releases about a month before anyone else in a fancy PDF! Hell, if you donate $10 a month, you get the pleasure of knowing that I consider you a fantastic human being and I will love you for a very long time! Your name gets put on the list with a little note of FANTASTIC put beside it. Even if you cancel your donation, or lower it, that denotation NEVER goes away!

What to write about…

OH! I KNOW!
WRITING!

I noticed the other day how my most popular updates about regarding writing. I don’t know how I feel about that: I feel like my other pieces are just, if not more, important.

I cannot be too frustrated. People know me as a writer, even if it’s just ironically. Plus, it is what I do four hours a day (give or take).

I actually have my next work written and I have done my part of editing, mostly. It is sitting just over 200 pages and just under 40,000 words. I am incredibly proud of it!

What about anewsinPublishing? That’s still a thing!

My last work was one of my strongest, writing wise. Unfortunately, few read it. I have around 24 reads in total. I know that it’s only been a week or two, but I am mildly discouraged. It was a genre change, and I have only had two people give any sort of insight. I really cannot bitch about the few reads to much: it actually had more reads than my last few releases.

Want to raise my ego a bit? Share the anewsinPublications page with your friends! Everything is listed there.

Oh, I’m not to hold stories ransom, but I have the next part of Epic mostly written. I am trying to figure out if I should just get it out. Lack of interest and my Patreon sitting just under $100 for the last year is making it hard to keep momentum up. So, I beg you: please help me hit that mark. I am just off $11 a month. I have over 130 followers on here, and at least 70 visitors a week…

Anyway, enough me begging for food. I would like someone to scan my next work. Leave a comment, or get a hold of me on social media, and I will consider giving you a copy to read.

The Moments Prior

I fucking hate the day before I release a project. The release tomorrow (Epic), though different for me, is probably my best work to date. No one dies, there is no mention of a loss of anything but individuality and the illusion of choice. I should clarify that, the illusion of an illusion. I am putting way too much into a few words and phrases.

I believe in “Death of the Author.” By that, I mean that a piece of work should stand on its own. I think the author should butt out of any release they make. Future explanation and definition means that you were ambiguous with what you were trying to say. That may have been your intent, but leaving something open with the assumption that you can explain if someone doesn’t understand is just bad writing.

(I am aware that I am using only one interpretation of that phrase. Let’s talk about it if you think I am wrong in feeling the way I do, or if you just do not appreciate my use of a term out of proper definition.)

That is why I tend towards short tales as opposed to full novels. I get great enjoyment out of writing something and having people pine for either further explanation or a grander world. This contradicts my enjoyment of the death-of-the-author trope, but I enjoy ambiguity. I have expanded on “Martha.” and “The Above” and will probably not release them for a very long time.

Please, feel free to ask me questions regarding a work or a theme. I will answer to the best of my ability. I won’t even be a dick about it: I will answer honestly and without pretension. What I would like to see is everyone who is reading something get together and discuss what it meant to them. I want to see everyones interpretation of what I’m doing.

Anyway, big release tomorrow! I am very excited to share it with the world. Hopefully I will have other big news this week, but that might be the last you hear of anything in that vain forever.

Writing

I need to find something I enjoy as much as writing. I haven’t even released the stories for October or December, and I have started writing two releases for next year, and I am planning yet another two books.

I’m not doing all of this totally on purpose: a big part of it comes out of static. My brain is buzzing with ideas. Some of them are fantastic, others I have reservations about.

I do have a quick question: how would people react to unnecessary vernacular in upcoming releases? There have been a couple of times that I have started to put flowery language in places (in the past) and have taken them out for fear of coming off as pretentious. It’s not that I can’t limit myself down, it’s that I have fun exploring the extent of my vocabulary and derive great enjoyment from manipulating words and definitions.

It’s unreasonably fun! Take a word and change the context in which it is intended! My favourite word to fuck with is ‘abdicate‘, simply because it’s a word relatively unused in todays verbal climate.

As hinted in the post the other day, this will be my last scheduled Sunday post. This does not mean I am going anywhere, instead I am going about posting when I see fit. I think I will do better (and more) posts, especially because I will not worry about something being “old” by the time I talk about it. Gone are the days of starting rush-posts with a “~”!

i’m changing

Fuck the every Sunday bull that I have been adhering to for just shy of five years. I have many things that I want to say. I write them down, then put them through an editing hell before I decide to not release them because they have become a shell of what they were. They no longer have the teeth or impact of what they did.

On that note: I am boring. I really don’t think I would have enough for two or three updates a week. Some weeks, I go days without anything of note to write down. That, coupled with my Patreon slowly dwindling (which makes it hard to argue when people question why I write) and I find myself either writing entirely too much, or nothing at all.

I’m not demanding money, but I was SO FUCKING CLOSE to $100 a month. I think I topped out at $97? $98?

I am well aware that I was almost at $200 for three months, but that was due to a temporary donation spike that I knew was going away. It feels cheap to use that as a benchmark when I knew that someone was going to give way too much until they couldn’t afford it because they knew their job couldn’t support it.

Anyway, would everyone be okay if i just went to random and abundant updates? It means that I am less likely to take a break, more likely to have actually good content, and I can take care of what presses me when I need to.

Example of that last one: I am an idiot and have two new books on the way. I have NO CLUE when they will even mildly be presentable, I just thought I’d share that factoid.

SEE? I am just going to launch this post up when I am done writing it, and the next one will be on Sunday, as usual. ansP will still come out on the first of every-other month, but blog posts will be sporadic and, hopefully, better. There is a goo d chance there will be more because I like to have traffic!

The New Keyboard

Yeah, that’s the full reason why I said “I vanished!”: I needed a new keyboard.

You never really realize how often you use the ‘L’ key until you can’t anymore. I mean, the first part of this paragraph contained 4 cases alone, and it was more of a fragment as opposed to a full sentence.

What did I get in the end? Another Mac Magic Keyboard. This is my second one. The first, I purchased back when I got my Mini, so back in 2007 (give or take). Either way, my old keyboard was about 10 years old. It put up with a lot of shit, missing keys, broken buttons… I will miss it, but I am surprised that it lasted this long! I feel bad that I never gave it a proper name…

Something else that is kind of cool: I got faster internet! Fido had a deal for a year for 35 a month no contract, so my wife and I jumped on it. Took a little less than a week after repairs to the modem had to be conducted. We went from about 15Mb/s to 75.1Mb/s (at time of writing) and now everything works so much better!

Business talk! Patreon pricing has changed, like I mentioned on the previous blog. So, please consider donating to this project!

I have another book sitting just shy of 80% complete. I have put it out there to a couple of publishers, but if no bites before December, going independent again.

Anyway, that’s enough of this ramble. First…

WITH NEW INTERNET SPEED COMES A NEW VIDEO.
It’s the drumming one that I found on an old camera. I uploaded it, then took it down because I hated the way it sounded. I recently found the pure audio recording of the session. I have now re-mastered and re-uploaded the file. I hope you enjoy!

Look how young am…

New book idea

I have been working on a new project for a while now. I have a non-traditional idea for my next publication that would make everything more natural for me, but I am still unclear on how it’s going to scan.

I have an idea of compiling my short stories into a print function. I have a few dozen more that I didn’t publish on this site, and I have about a dozen or so that I am currently writing.

The really intriguing part for me will be how next month is received. The plan I have right now is to have a story, then put a fact instead of a title.

My end goal is 100,000 words, so at 1500 words a story, I will have to put almost 100 stories to print. Is that too much? Am I keeping things too short? Should I just stick to what I am doing?

To be clear, I am not going to be pulling the stories already published on this site. I also plan on releasing stories from time to time to keep both Patreons and the public happy. As far as depressing facts go, I can generate literally thousands of them.

I should probably explain why those are important. I think it is equal parts humbling and important to realize just how fragile life and happiness is. I feel it is important to normalize how hideous times can be as a kind of preparation for when (not if) things go sideways. Life is amazing. It can be equal parts beautiful and horrible, and at our darkest it can be next to impossible to see the light. The flip of that is that people tend to forget just how dark things can be, and they get stuck into the sludge when it comes to the forefront.

Alone. {ANEWSIN VOL. 7 — Jason Garden}

//Edited by Luka Riot

Another day, all alone.

He looks out the window as the sun slowly peeks over the horizon. No one is anywhere near him, and no one has been for a very long time. He is alone.

He has been alone for what feels like months.

There are two kinds of people. The decent people in the cities, and those who are in solitary and are forced to live that way because of how they have been in the past. They have been rude or violent. Even just inappropriate thoughts are enough to hide someone away from the rest of society. Those in cities are surrounded by others like them. It is all sorted by an algorithm, and the results are just accepted. Why wouldn’t they be?

He pours his coffee and prepares to eat his first meal of the day, like he always does. The windows are without blinds. The walls of civilization are kilometres away from his residence, so it is fair to think that no one would be looking in. So, imagine his shock when he looked outside to realize that there is a new house that he has never seen.

At least he was wearing pants today.

Not too far away sits a small, red brick, single floor, rather shabby looking house. He cannot make out if anyone is there right now, but it is close enough to hinder his view of the sun rising over the chicken wire of the city.

The house is situated perfectly as so trees do not block the view.

Whoever the owner is, they saw it fit to get window dressings. Probably to block the sun. Or the wind as most of the windows seem to have holes in the glass due to rocks being projected through them.

He puts on a thin top. He has a quick shower, then figures that it would be in his best interest to say hello.

Once he is ready, he makes the venture out to the new arrival. His stride did not hide the frustration and mild curiosity he felt. The distance is far from great, but it still takes him the better part of an hour.

The wall still stands a great pillar of truth and testament to everything he gave up for the solitude he was given. The cinder blocks remind him that he is guarded from all that it contains.

A batted young girl meets him part way to the house.

“Hello, there!” She yells. Her voice cuts sharply above the noise of silence that steeps the land. “Where the fuck am I?”

He laughs. “Nowhere and everywhere. I’ve been here forever, and you probably will be, as well.” Being lost is standard.

He now knows that there is no danger, he turns to head back towards his sanctuary. The dirt of the ground spins with his heel. That is to be the only mark left between the two houses, he thinks. He doesn’t want friends. He doesn’t want to be bothered. He just wants to open a beer and read things on the screen. All of his needs are taken care of in this place, and he has just enough entertainment to ignore just how incredibly crushing the isolation is.

“Where are you going?” The girl screams after him. “I have questions!”

“I don’t care. You’ll understand soon enough.” He replies, looking over his shoulder just long enough to make sure the girl heard him. He hoped that his body language would emphasize just how sure he was in his answer.

“Can I come over, then? I have things that I need answers!.” She continues to plead with him as he ventures further and farther away. “Please?”

He ignores her pleads. She’ll figure things out or disappear in a week. He thinks to himself. He has been in this area long enough to know how the process goes.

He gets back to his front door when he notices that he is not alone. The girl followed him. Her eyes are full of tears and her hair is full of blood. She is skinny and frail. This is the closest he has been to another being in a very long time.

“At least let me use your water. My place hasn’t been connected to the system as of yet, and I am a fucking wreck. This blood? Not sure where it came from. This place? I don’t remember how I got here.” Her voice strains in her frantic attempt to get everything said. She clearly was in shock.

She extended a hand. “Please.” She murmured between sobs. “I don’t know where I am or why I am here.”

“Fine. Come this way.” He felt he had no choice but to at least pretend to show compassion. “Do you like coffee? I was about to make another pot.”

“Yes. And thank you.” She replied, smiling for the first time since she had seen him. “We don’t need to talk anymore. Unless you want to. God knows I can talk a lot. Especially if I was asked not to talk or I feel the other person doesn’t want me to. But seriously, just let me know if you want me to be quiet, I can do that. I can I can…”

He puts his face into his hand and lets out a massive sigh.

“Don’t make me regret this.” He barks in her direction, then continues his stroll towards his residence. His direction lead right to the path me made lined with old broken brick that he found in his journeys around the land. He was proud of it.

“Bree.”

The girl exclaimed what he assumed was her name rather unceremoniously.

“It was awkward to me that we haven’t been properly introduced. I’m Bree. No one cares what it’s short for. Least of all me.” Bree then started to follow. “What are you called?”

“Keven.” he says with a tone of confusion. He never thought that he would be in a position again where he needed to introduce himself. “I’d appreciate it if you stopped ruining everything.”

A miasma of awkward tension levitated above the two for a moment. Keven never stopped walking, but Bree stumbled for a moment.

“Why do you hate me?” Bree asked. Her voice was audibly choked up.

“I don’t. I just haven’t seen other people in a very long time” Kevin replied without looking to see Bree’s face. He had a feeling that her eyes would break his rugged disposition.

Bree started to raise her voice “But what about–“

“–I could have left you at the hovel you called home for-who-knows-how-long. I could have waited for you to give up then raided you for everything you have. Be happy I was in a good mood today.” Keven made sure his words were deliberate in their dictation. He wanted her to stop. He wanted her to realize that they were alone. They will always be alone. That things will go his way or she will be left behind.

If Keven had bothered to look over, he would have noticed that Bree had stopped in her tracks.

“Where is someone else to talk to?” Her voice quivers as she forces the words.

“There is no one else.” Keven screamed. “Why do I have to keep telling you this? We’re alone. We will be left alone for a long time.”

Bree fell to the ground and started shaking.

“Get up. There is no point in crying.” Keven’s demeanour started to soften. He felt bad for the girl. Yes, this place was his dream. That’s just it, though. It is his dream, and his alone. If he was left to his devices for the remainder of time, he would be okay with that. He was well aware that he was one of a few who would enjoy that.

Bree looked up. She wasn’t crying, but she was in the throws of diabolical laughter.

“So, why do you hate me?” Bree asked slowly between uncontrolled breathing. “Why do you have this urge to be nice yet still chastise me?” Her voice became louder as she regained control. “What made you think I needed to be saved?” Her voice was slowly increasing in volume.

“How is your day, now?” She almost shouted as she lunged. Keven did not see her pick up a shard of glass, but he did feel it enter his neck.

“You sad, pathetic, fool.” Bree chortled as Keven’s blood mixed with his sad attempts at breathing. She had pierced his wind pipe. He knew he was going to die.

Keven brought his hands to his neck trying to stop the bleeding. Sounds of Bree cackling in the distance as she continued up the path towards his sactuary.

She gave no reason. Keven’s dying thoughts was him trying to figure out if she had actually only been in the wastes a few days, or if she had done this before. Bree’s lack of confirmation of the kill was enough for him to consider this is far from her first time doing this.

Keven’s last thought was simply Why? He felt his body growing colder with every passing moment. Even his blood was getting colder.

Martha {ANEWSIN VOL. 6 — Jason Garden}

The journey continues into the cold, empty void of space. Martha’s voyage takes her far beyond the scope of what we have explored.

She leaves another mark faintly with a pencil on the metal of the cockpit wall. One for every 24 hours she is contained in this cage.

Space is a horrible place to be left alone. She started this voyage in hopes of finding someone, or something. When traveling at 95 percent the speed of light with no objects nearby, one loses track of everything: speed, direction, purpose and reason. Her metal sarcophagus continues to drift through the great beyond.

“Just remember that your mission is knowledge for the masses. Not recognition. Not praise. ‘The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.’ You can do this.” Martha keeps repeating this to herself under her breath. She is alone with her thoughts. It would cost the agency too much to send anyone else on such a journey.

Recon and Discovery. That was her only criteria for the mission. She knew that it sounded too easy to be a good thing. One would imagine that sitting in front of flashing lights and knobs for hours would be the furthest thing from mentally taxing, but that is far from the case. There are times when she cannot remember not staring at them. There is a disconnection between reality and dreams. Just the other day, for instance, she saw everything go wrong: lights lit up warning of hull breaches and oxygen leaks. It was just a dream. She awoke to a completely ordinary spread in front of her.

Martha took this position with the promise of discovery, she took the job in spite of her dreams of reading over ancient texts discussing the possibilities of dragons. She wanted to better everyone, or at least she thought she did. She had to keep reminding herself that this was all to better the human race.

“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding. You’re a fucking hero.” She was starting to question her beliefs.

It was clear at one time why she took this torch. She wanted to find something new in this vast universe. She could not believe that we are all alone. It would not make sense. She has been in the metal sarcophagus for over 100,000 hours so far, and found nothing. To assume that she would find the same in the next 100,000 hours is insanity.

She wasn’t expecting something as advanced as the human race. The idea of a civilization as developed as us in the same ways seems arrogant. The only way that could be possible is if there was some sort of agreement that we would remain ignorant on purpose, because we are a snapshot of evolution. She could not fathom that to be true for this long, unless it hasn’t been long in the grand scheme of everything.

We are just arrogant enough to think 300,000 or so years is impressive. Martha dwells on her view of the situation and realizes the irony in her declaration of arrogance.

Just then, the console lights start flashing. It is just like in her dreams. Martha feels the surge of sweat beads pouring from her brow as she scrambles to react to every warning. Then, something she was not expecting: the front window opens slowly to reveal a launch command centre.

“Martha.” A man with a name tag that reads Jacob is speaking loudly to get her attention. “Martha, you’re okay.”

The lights are bright. She is in a large metal panel room. For a moment, she wonders if this is what happens after death. Martha is faced with her own mortality for the first time that she can remember.

“Okay, she’s not calming down. We need a debriefing team here on the…” Jacob was mid sentence when Martha’s brain shut down.

When she comes to, Martha is in some sort of hospital room with only “Jacob” by her side, sitting on a white stool.

“What happened?” Martha massages her face with her hands. “Where am I?”

“That was a simulation, Martha.” Jacob starts to talk disregarding her condition. “That was the seventh one that you have been a part of. We tried something different, remember? The last one was too muddled with delusions flashing back to prior events, so you went into this with your mind blanked.” Jacob’s voice is calm and he is doing everything he can to be deliberate with his words.

“Why would I agree to that? None of this makes sense, and it seems unnecessary.” Martha could feel rage building inside of her. She felt as if she has been tricked. She felt like this “trial” was just a financial burden on the agency, and a mental burden on her.

Jacob did not say a word and swiftly pulled a recorder from his pocket and pressed play.

“This is Martha. I understand that my mind will be cleared in hopes of bettering the practice. This recording is to be presented to me if I question the practice when I wake up.”

“That was you just the other day.” Jacob said with a slight of empathy in his voice. “The idea was yours. We all thought it brilliant! We did see the flaws, however. So we asked you to make this tape to prove the procedure to yourself in the event you would need to.”

Martha leaned back into the pillow and locked her eyes to the ceiling.
“If we’re done for now, I’d like to sleep.”

“Of course.” Jacob got out of the chair, nodded his head, and turned towards the door. He stopped. “I just want to tell you, because you may not remember me saying it before, but I am honoured to be working with you.”

Jacob shut the door behind him. Martha’s head started to fill with ideas and worries that were not answered so far.

I know of this time, but is this the first time? How many times have I been in through that procedure? What is the mission even about?

Martha’s eyes welled with tears as she thought of the most daunting of all of the ideas.

Did any of that happen? Or was I just told that it happened?

I am proud to announce that this was edited by the amazing Luka Riot! Because of fantastic donors over at Patreon, I am able to employ her for ansP editing. I hope her and I work together for a long time.

Hi! I’m back!

The last two months were some of the most difficult things for me. I found myself wanting to write all the words and give all the news!

I wanted to write, but I refused to not let myself have a break! You probably did notice at least one (or more) pieces of writing, but that was because I was stewing about it and had to get it out!

Otherwise, there was little to report on. There was one personal matter, but I always feel awkward talking about things that heavily impact my life, but also impacts those around me. So, somehow, I kept quiet about it!

I’m proud of me!

ANYWAY! New tier on Patreon that rewards people donating $8+ monthly! If you decide to do this, you get to dictate the major plot points and overall theme of an original story! The first one goes up on the first of next month from the amazing Martha. Mother of Katie, she has always been someone I look up to and highly respect. I just hope she likes what I wrote…

NowIAmDwellingOnThatAndTheAirIsGettingHeavy

ANYWAY!

Updates back to the usual. Thank you for still being there!

SOMETHING I SHOULD EXPLAIN!
I am removing the obligation to release a new ansP every month from the collective Patreon goals. I find it difficult enough to get a piece to a point that I am comfortable enough to release it as it is. I am not going to give myself such strict deadlines. Hopefully, this will keep the stories GOOD as opposed to plentiful.