Patreon Update

I cleaned up the Patreon (clink that link to consider helping out) site as much as I could. No new categories were added, but I removed the redundant ones.

Keep in mind: you still get a place in the “Thank You” section of the end of my book for continued support. I am not going to say when the new book will be done, but I have given the three chapters to a couple of friends of mine for opinions. They see where I am going with it, and are rather excited to see where it goes*.

*Their words, not mine.

Morning Person/Night Owl

I will start this post by exclaiming that all of this will be conjecture and observation. More of an expression of my own experience than fact, so take my words as “fun” rather than actual truth.

I have noticed a discrepancy in the labels of “morning person” and “night owl”. In western society, anyway, we toss those terms around to describe either someone who is good in the morning, or seems to perk up as the day continues. I wonder, however: can you be both?

I am rarely in bed before midnight, and I am usually up around eight in the morning. I usually get the mandatory eight hours of sleep, and I don’t have a nap most days. I am able to stay up later if I am stimulated, so I often get the label of “night owl”. This ignores the fact that I am most productive in the morning, where my evenings are reserved for entertainment and waffling. One could say that I am a “morning person” most days. From simple description, I fall into both categories.

While dwelling on this fact today, I got analyzing categories, in general. Whether they be to define sexuality, or personality types like into- or extrovert.

Society, as a whole, seems determined to place everyone into boxes. I am not immune to this, but I do not use them to judge people. Some people seem to wear them as a badge of sorts: proudly declaring to the world which camp they belong to.

Some things, I do understand. Race, sexuality, gender, disability… these are all things that are discriminated against and identifying as one is not a choice. Taking a stand with a label like this is announcing a kind of political stand in regard to the discrimination faced by these minorities. I do honestly wonder if people who do not belong to one of these categories are jealous in a way. They, therefore, attach themselves to ideas and regiments that are supposed to benefit, for example, introverts.

The other way I have been contemplating is that this is a way to employ people. If you work in a high-interactive environment where your employees are talking to potential customers all day, it is easier to ask if someone is an extrovert as opposed to running down a list of questions to figure out if they would be a decent fit. That, however, doesn’t explain the rampant obsession that goes along with these, seemingly arbitrary, labels.

Like stated in the first line, this was a concept, and far from scientifically backed. If you have insight, leave it in the comments below or on my FaceBook page. I will respond to every one of them, even if they are unrelated and talking about pants.

A Trite Existence

I wake up to the cat clawing at my face. He wants to be fed, and lets it be known. I have food to feed him, so I do so. I then go into the kitchen to make myself a coffee and some toast.

I am ravaged by guilt.

I am able to afford breakfast. I have pets because I can afford them. Barely, mind you, but I can. I even have a roof over my head and access to necessities. Lucky me.

I am white, male, and straight. It is horrible, but I feel so badly about it. I feel like life dealt me a hand of four kings, and I am complaining because there are no aces in my hand. There are days when I forget there are things for me to take advantage of because one day I need them, simply because I never need them.

I have been in a wheelchair for 6 years. Approximately 1% of people in the world are bound to a chair. So, for every small population that you can think of, that percent of the 1% is all there is in my world.

Does this give me the excuse to feel entitled? Should I just give up on everything and beg the world for hand-outs?

The biggest difference between my situation and most others is that, no, I was not born this way. No, I didn’t put myself in this situation. No, I refuse to look at anyone less for either doing so, or being so.

Yesterday, I found out that my ex-girlfriend has brain damage sustained during a foolish maneuver performed while being a teen aged girl. I have been trying to find a way to compartmentalize that since she informed me. It is not a case of accepting: it’s a fact that she has to deal with. I never would have known if I didn’t ask. We dated when I was 10 or so. It’s not like we’re super close and it would be stupid to have any sort of bad blood.

Accepting. That’s a term that I have a hard time believing that people cannot do. In some situations, being upset or angry will not change a thing. Most things are carved in stone, and refusing to let them become part of your life is detrimental. Refusal to adapt will literally make life unbearable.

I am sorry this post was so scattered. I got thinking about my friend and how gracefully they seemed to adapt to their situation, then I got thinking about the people who have the hardest time accepting my own situation even though it does not involve them. I’ll figure out something more organized soon.

Sing Along

Do you ever find lyrics that you just want to share with someone?

I have been listening to New Design and Kennedy on loop. They both create the same affliction to me: I want to sing with someone. I know very few people who have heard of these bands, let alone know them well enough to belt along with someone.

When I say “sing along”, I am only half meaning that on a literal level. I just want to be able to type the lyrics in a window and have someone respond with the next line. I want someone to appreciate the deft use of language as much as I do.

I was having a fantastic conversation with my friend Corey, and we both came to the conclusion that we’re the same with lyrics usually. They play little rolls in our appreciation for music, which can be detrimental when we enjoy something degrading or offensive. I, myself, only realized recently how important the lyrics of the band I was in during high school were. So, Kev: you deserve more credit for being a poetic genius.

I understand the cognitive dissonance in me saying how I do not comprehend lyrics right after talking about how two albums have some of the best lyrics ever. If anything, it should illustrate how impressive the words are. They permeated the barrier that I didn’t mean to install. All said: I think only 10% of my music I actually get what they are trying to say. I hear the words, I just cannot always connect what is being said with actual messages.

Thus, the me realizing how misogyny some of the words that bands I am affiliated with have been.

For that, I am very sorry. Especially if you gave me a heads-up at the time and I blew you off.

Are We Friends…?

The title of the piece is the eternal question for someone who spends all of their time online. I am constantly fighting with myself, trying to decide whether or not someone is a friend or just an entity online. It raises the question: can someone who you never meet or talk to on a regular basis be a friend? I would argue yes.

Most likely the person is in your feed because you appreciate their input or you enjoy what they produce. Where it gets dicey is having too many people in your feeds that just agree with everything you post, causing your opinion to never be pushed or strained. This causes an almost utopian existence.

Tell me my opinion is shit. Well, only if you can back up why with evidence or statistics. I will always hear out alternate opinions that are not just trolling for trolling sake. The idea of never having my opinion tested is actually a fear of mine. I make sure to read something that goes in the face of what I believe pretty close to daily. Worst case: I learn how right I am to have that view.

Do I always do this? Is my mind truly open and accepting of every view, even if it contradicts my own views?
Hell no. I do try incredibly hard to keep my mind open, but some topics I have a very hard time challenging my opinion. That only doubles if I think an alternate way of thinking is detrimental to the human race.

Religion is one place that I am steadfast even if it is easy to disprove my opinion on a matter. I believe that the end is the end, and there is no further existence outside of what we have right now. I will fully admit, a big part of that is a fear that my actions will have further repercussions down the line that I never intended. I need to think that when I die, I no longer have any attachment to this mortal coil because I cannot fathom hurting those in my life. Even if I die a natural death and there is no immediacy in my passing, I do not want to dwell on the people who might be negatively affected by my passing. Not that I put much emphasis on my importance in others lives, but I worry about how my parents would deal if I went before them. I worry how my wife will cope, if anyone will help her out, and what happens to my dogs.

Thankfully, in my mind, we die and nothing that happens after matters. The book I have been writing for months? Lost in the files of this computer I am currently sitting at. If I worried about every facet of my life, I would be a wreck. I actually take comfort the most of my friends live far away from me: if I die, they might never know.

I digress.

What is a friend? Someone who you are happy to know that they are still alive. Someone who’s words matter in your day to day. Someone who you can honestly say you love.

The Social Experiment

As some people saw, I released a poll asking what the content of the next update should contain. It was a success in some ways, and a miserable failure in others.

So, why am I calling it a failure if I got some input? I only had 13 votes, and that kind of hurts. It kind of tells me that there is a very small portion of people who read this, and possibly even less that actually care. I DIGRESS! To those 13, thank you. I really do appreciate it!

The winner was the topic “something else”. I have had a recommendation by the amazing Katie Maz (that should be your superhero name) asking me to do a book review. I think that’s a neat idea! There is a catch, however: I haven’t read a book since I ended up in a wheelchair. I would love to, but the damage to my oculare nerve makes it hard to focus on reading. Even typing this, I barely look at the screen, and proofread at the end. Red squiggly lines make that part easy. I will try, regardless. I mean, I will do my favourite book. I remember most of that one pretty well.

Can you guess what my favourite book is? You would be forgiven if you guessed 1984, especially because I yammer on and on about how amazing that book is. No, my top spot is filled by Rant by Chuck Palahniuk. The best part is, even if I read it today, I would still only be able to talk about half of it because it’s so full of twists and false-flags.

The word of the book takes place in a dichotomy of two existences. You have the people of the day: very similar to what we have now, and there are the people of the night: think midnight shift somewhat permanently. The two planes of existence rarely intermingle. Not by any expressed issue that may incur, but by just happenstance. It feels more natural than a government force imposing some sort of anti-mingle rule.

The story follows around the character of the title (Rant) as he experiences the world around him. He is accompanied by a collection of misfits and weirdos that he calls friends. They enjoy destroying things, and lead a very normal (or, “normal”) life.

The book becomes surreal when time travel comes into play. I am NOT going to go any further into the plot because it will ruin parts, but my GOD the path is worth it. To give an example of how convoluted (in the best way ever) this book is, it is NOT a massive spoiler to say that he is his own grandfather.

That’s right: him being his own grandfather is NOT a massive spoiler. More of “well” as opposed to a “NO WAY” when you read it.

The writing style is what you can expect from Chuck Palahniuk. Grotesque, unnecessary, overly descriptive, and completely perfect. One thing that I have championed for a very long time is that he is my favourite author. To call him unique is underselling his works, and also short-changing his very stark look on society.

Like Fight Club before it, this book has a way of looking at society. It is not bluntly chastising, nor does it feel like he is going out of his way to attack. It simply feels like he is focusing on aspects as literary expression as opposed to critical commentary. It’s more of a “this is how things are” as opposed to “look how things are.” The difference is how he doesn’t explain things: doesn’t try to fix them.

I will be keeping the poll open for the next little bit. Vote on it, and if I notice much of an interest, I will adapt.

You don’t need to see.

Okay, this sounds like a no-brainer to me, but maybe I’m biased.

If I you don’t see something, it does not mean that it did not happen. We cannot see electricity powering a device, we cannot see water moving through pipes, and we do not see our body metabolising energy. All of these things happen in the background and we do not question their existence.

With all of these things in mind: if someone says they did their recommended exercise for the day, BELIEVE THEM.

I have been, for months, dealing with people in my life not believing me when I say that I did ‘x’. I am just going to put ‘x’ because there are many different things that have been brought to question.

No, there is not always physical proof that ‘x’ happened, but it did. My promise should be enough. Especially when it involves a thing that only benefits me.

I get it: people have an interest in me walking again. People have this idealised fantasy where everything is the same as it was seven years ago. Well; news flash! Even if I walked TOMORROW I might never be able to get my license back. Even if I walked TOMORROW I could be turned away from my old job. In that situation, I would come out much further behind than where I am now.

Now, let’s play positive-guy for this paragraph. Assuming that I did my exercises proper and everything went the way half the medical community says that it should, I am still six weeks off ON THE SHORT END of being able to kind of walk. Assuming my medication continues to work as predicted and my body does not create some sort of immunity, I could avoid seizures wrecking my day, but they are to be a constant in my life.

I didn’t write this as a pity-party for myself. I wrote this on behalf of everyone who feels pressured to do something they are doing already and having no one believe them. I am writing this for everyone that feels overburdened by people who have this strange vested interest in their health, even if it really doesn’t affect them. I am writing this for every person who has been told there is a 5% chance of recovery.

DO IT FOR YOU. NOT FOR THEM.

And for “them”: fuck off. We are doing our best, even if you don’t believe us.

Writer’s Block is Weird

I find myself at a bit of a stop in my next book. I am proud of what I have so far. It comes out just over 20 pages. Strangely, I am able to think of a blog post to write, but not a continuation on my writing.

Why does the brain do this? Yes, blogs are a little more auto-biographical usually. That, or they are explaining from a very biased (in my case) source. My stories are usually birthed from reality. They are all situations that I have either lived through, or exaggerations on events. No, I have never been part of a terrorist organization, nor have I taken a bullet for my cause. I have been publicly ridiculed and emasculated for my beliefs. No, the comparison is not one for one. It could be argued that being publically hung to dry is worse than being killed. At least, when you’re killed, you don’t have to keep surviving in the hellscape that comes after.

On that note, at least if you don’t die, you can patch and fix your image. It may take a long time, but it’s doable.

On a very unrelated note: I got a new chair! I’m not using it! Thanks!

Okay, details: I have been using the same chair for 6 years at this point. I have learned many things about what I want from a wheelchair since I put together my initial order, and grew out of certain things that were put in place all that time ago.

Unfortunately, the chair I received until they have constructed mine has a misplaced centre of gravity. Small imperfections in my movement would result in me suddenly tipping backwards. Luckily, wheelchairs have anti-tip bars in the back. They saved my life on multiple occasions, but I hate having to rely on them. Due to this, I moved back to my old chair with a new seat cushion: at least for now. I hope that all is sorted before August.

The quotes

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you will notice that I have started releasing out-of-context quotes from You’re Not Dead.

It’s very interesting. I haven’t read the book since I finished editing it, and this is a great way to A) renew interest for other people and B) Revisit my work without feeling like I am under any real pressure.

Below is what I have released so far, but please let me know if you have a better line in mind for me to put to the masses:

  • For that hour, the Hero felt like he was drowning above water.
  • What is even the point in self-improvement if I am not to enjoy whatever I achieve?
  • Maybe it was for the best that he was alone.
  • Luka hugged him./He tried as hard as he could to hug back./He tried to call her a fool for thinking he was gone/He tried many things.
  • In a hospital near you, a heart monitor squeals./In a town far away, a girls heart breaks

New Book

As some people have heard, I am working on a new book! I started only recently, so timeline is a bit ragged at the moment. I have an idea of where I want to go, as well as at least two characters flushed out.

SURPRISE! It will not be a happy read. For the people who have read, what I dubbed a, WIP: I have scrapped about half of it in favour of continuing this new direction that I pieced together in my head.

The one of two things I am keeping from my initial 20-or-so pages is the theme of survivors guilt. I have a character that is dealing with the death of her children by blaming herself for their death on a legal level. I am not spoiling much, as even I don’t quite know where her story will end up.

My goal is to have the book be about 200 pages long. I am not going to put more restraints on myself, for fear of not measuring up to my own goals.

Do you want to be in the Thank You list? Check out my Patreon. Anyone who donates even $1 a month will get their name immortalized at the end of the book!

Check out my already released book here! If you do not feel like giving monthly, buying a copy of You’re Not Dead helps out a tonne.