Personal Blog

I haven’t written one of these in a while. I just don’t think that I’m particularly interesting, and I have a hard time thinking that anyone would have any interest in anything that I am up to. So, I guess that’s the warning!

I wrote a new book! Not that I haven’t been riding that train for weeks now…

It’s been re-released under You’re Not Dead, but I fixed the grammar and spelling huge, plus I filled it out with fictional bits. It now sits just over 200 pages for the physical copy. Amazon has been… awkward… with their restocking of it, but the store over on Friessen Press works beautifully! They print on demand, as well. That ensures that you will get the right version! I am still looking for a publishing agent, and that journey is hard and depressing. Yet, this is the path I chose, kind of. I only say “kind of” because, if you have listened to my PodCast I did on Taker Wide in the past, you know that art is less of a choice and more of necessity.

I’m pretty sure that I have mentioned this part before, but my wife and I moved back in with my parents last year. It’s going well! I will say that I haven’t seen many friends since we moved back here, but that isn’t a huge change since Burlington.

If you aren’t awkward with south-western Ontario, that’s less than an hour away. Unfortunately, it is a separate health system, so it’s a bitch to get everything reset as far as doctors go. We’re slowly figuring that out. In fact, today I have a place that I’m going to! Right on time, as well!

I have written the next ansP recently. The last one underperformed, but that is, in part, due to me not realizing what day is was being released. If you haven’t read it, go do so (please). If you have read it, what do you think of it? It was fun to write, but I don’t intend to do the same style anytime soon. If there is an interest, though, I will write another one.

We don’t have wheels any longer. We got rid of our car recently, because upkeep was too expensive. On that note, the Patreon is very close to $100, and I find that stupid exciting. It would make it possible to go to events and maybe do meet-ups in the future!

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!

foam {ANEWSIN VOL.11 — Jason Garden}

Edited by Luka Riot

“Come in! Find a seat, or wheel yours in. Whichever works better for you!” 

A woman stands at the head of a rectangular room, beckoning ten or so people to enter. They are all gathered for a meeting to divulge stories and dreams pertaining to seizures. They enter the room one by one, apologizing for brushing against other bodies.

It is a diverse group. Two of them look to be in their early twenties but have no relation to one another. Three look like ex-junkies, with unwashed hair and clothing. One younger girl who is probably around ten finds a seat between two people who one would assume are her parents. Two people in wheelchairs, one is being propelled by a nurse. The other is completely alone and seems despondent. Finally, the last one to enter the room is a flustered looking woman who stumbled in by accident.

It only takes a minute and everyone finds a spot.

“Great! Everyone seems to be comfortable. There is coffee available at the back. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the budget for snacks this week. We’re working on that!” The woman at the front speaks with grace and warmth. “I am Amanda, and everyone in this circle is a peer! By that, I mean that everyone here fights with some form of epilepsy. Some self-inflicted, some not. Life is interesting!”

“Life is a bitch, you mean.” The gentleman in the wheelchair who propelled himself in utters under his breath, with little regard to who hears him.

Amanda’s demeanour does not falter. If anything, she speaks with a heightened determination to sound less patriotic. “To start, I would ask for someone to share why they are epileptic and how that has shaped their existence. How life has been an adventure, and I don’t want to hear a bunch of you looking for pity!”

Awkward murmurs flit around the room.

Amanda looks concerned. This is not the environment that she wanted to have.

“Okay… let’s start with names, then. As I stated, I’m Amanda! Let’s go left. Your turn!”

“Fine.” One of the ‘ex-junkies’ stands. He does not look thrilled to be there.

“I’m Stan. I was drunk, fell down stairs, and now here I am. O’course, there’s a lot more. What you need to know is that I am Stan, and I am here because I was told I need to socialize more.”

With that note, he abruptly sat back down and turned his head to the right. His gaze almost challenged the person next to him to one up him in some way. 

Then, another one of the ex-junkies looked at him with tears in their eyes. “So, you got minor brain damage?”

“Yep. I worked, had a family, dealt with life. The main reason I ended up where I am is because I couldn’t stay conscious through the day. My work decided to relieve me of my position under guise that I wasn’t doing my job anymore. Not because of my injury ‘cause that would be illegal.” His voice cracked. “I was driven out legally. The government jumped in where they could, but I still make half of what I used to.”

Stan fell apart, putting his face deep into his hands. No sound emanated from him, but it was clear from his jumping shoulders that he was crying hard.

“Okay, Stan. This is a safe place, don’t push yourself too much if you can’t.” Amanda stated. She tried so hard to sound delicate. “Thank you for sharing, Stan. That story was heartbreaking and very honest. Who’s next?”

The capable boy in the wheelchair extends his arm while looking at the ground. Amanda realized that he had not even said good morning to anyone around him, and he looks like he came completely alone. Amanda worries, without real reason, that he is alone.

He cleared his throat. “Hello. I am James. I got sick. The result was my brain swelled. It damaged my brain stem. The damage scarred parts of the grey matter.” The group started to murmur with questions and disbelief. “My epilepsy wasn’t even noticed for four years. I passed out and fell out of my chair in front of, who is now, my wife and mother-in-law. They called an ambulance and it was determined to be a seizure.”

“It wasn’t for another few months that the diagnosis came through that I was epileptic. It explains why I failed out of school so tremendously only a year earlier. It explains why I would get so exhausted at times even after I had a solid ten hours of sleep. There was one situation where I remember leaving a classroom, then I am in a wing of the school five minuets away from where I should have been with someone pushing me without permission.” James started to get frantic.

“Here I was, in an apartment that I was living in with the woman of my dreams. All of a sudden, I wasn’t just paraplegic, but epileptic? How was this never caught prior? Why was this ignored for years? Why the f—“

James cleared his throat. “Sorry. Got a bit non-plussed there.” He then wheeled further into the space he made for himself in the circle.

The room goes quiet for a moment. Then, Amanda stands up.

“Thank you, James. That sounds very frustrating. Who’s next?”

“Excuse me!” James shouts from the place is resides in. “Why must you sound so dismissive?”

Amanda looks horrified that someone spoke out against her, regardless of what was said. “You were done, so I’m just moving things along here!”

“You still don’t have to patronize what I said. It came off as dismissive and belittling! How would you like it if you had a bad day and I just responded with ‘who’s next?’ Would that not frustrate the hell out of you? There is a right way and wrong way to go on to the next person.” James was furious. The faces around the room were a mixture of agreement and shock. It was clear that some people saw absolutely nothing wrong with the way Amanda had handled the situation. Some of the other patrons, however, looked just as upset as James was displaying.

“Fuck this and fuck you. I’m going to leave. I’m going to the coffee place down the road, if anyone cares to join me?” James declared to the room. He really seemed like he cared little if he sat alone for the next several hours, or if he made a room full of new friends.

Check out my other works. PLEASE consider supporting me on Patreon.

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.