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.

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That Guy.

(Okay. Last change of this post. You got this.)

Ironic that a post I have scrapped due to being too open and too distant turned out to be a rant on forgiving yourself, but these appear to be the times we live in.

I have spent the last five years battling with the demons that we hoisted upon me when I died.

I read pages, literal pages, of comments talking about what I meant to people throughout the time we knew each other. I was toted as being amazing by someone who, before I came out of the coma, decided that I was no longer worthy of knowing them at all. I have let my wife down just because I am who I am, and she sticks around because apparently I am worth it.

All of these things keep circling in my mind while I try to decide whether I am or not the person I strive to be, or if I am just an avatar cloaking the body of a monster. I have done some horrible things in my 30 years on the earth. Should I keep dwelling on those, or should I accept that I might not be a halfway bad human?

I am very curious if my attachment to what I have done in the past is actually even normal. My mind is stuck on the idea that I, and I alone, realize that I am capable of the dumb-shittery that I have done in the past. I guess, in a way, you can describe me as haunted by my decisions. One thing I will bow to is my arrogance in trying to do this publication bullshit on my own. All of my endeavours in the arts have all been independent. Not by complete choice, but I wonder if because I half know how to do it alone (kind of) I create a kind of false-bravado and tricks me into thinking “I can do it if I just do one more thing oh God I can do it just let me do it this time…”

Fill me in, internet! Tell me if you also experience this loop of self-doubt and self-loathing. Fill me in if you second-guess everything you do, as well! I am in need of vindication that this is normal. I would also like the heads-up if I need to seek a psychiatrist.

PATREON SUPPORTER TALE :: Chrissy & Adam

I have this tendency, which I consider an excellent one to have, where I keep friends close for a very long time. Chrissy is far from an exception, and Adam and I have a very long history.

I dated her cousin in grade nine for a while. Chrissy, because of the mutual person between us, started talking. We continued to talk long after her cousin and I had broken up. We just shared a strange sense of humour and took great amusement in the stranger things in life.

Adam and I were in the same grade and hung around with a few of the same people. In high school, we were not all that close. Not for any reason in particular. He grew up in a very different way to me. It took me a long time to catch up to his maturity. Not that I was particularly immature, but more we got to the same place taking very different paths.

I can hear the questions now why I seem to be doing yet another two patreon updates at once. Chrissy and Adam got married a couple of years ago. The account used was for Chrissy, but I know that Adam is sending his love, as well.

If I am wrong, I will let you know. I will write something special up for Chrissy and probably one for Adam as well. However, I think that I am right.

OH! Fun tidbit of information. Chrissy’s mom works for Friesen Press and they did the run of my book! I probably would not have had the confidence if it was not for that strange connection.

…and for the last note, this marks 100$ worth of donations on my Patreon! I am beyond honoured! I had no idea that I would have such support and I thank and love every person who has taken the time to look it over!

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.

Writing Update and Patreon News

I know: I dropped so many balls that saying that analogy now has become reminiscent of a gay porno. I apologize, and I hope I am going to make everything better in the next few months!

So as you noticed, the ansP that was published on the first was the first chapter of my book, You’re Not Dead. It was reworked, and I put probably ten or more hours into reworking and rewriting a good portion of it. I am going to be giving the rest of the book the same level of TLC over the next few weeks. The Patreons who pay more than $3 until it is ready will receive the whole work in its redone splendour. The old version is still available for E-Readers, but is not in print any longer. It would have cost me way too much money to just repress, and that does not include re-editing and re-working everything to make it up to the standards seen as decent enough for publishers.

Onto ansP news: I will be publishing chapter two of You’re Not Dead, half because I am too burnt out to write something new right now, half because I am working on something that is going to take me a very long time to get to a point I will be happy with it.

THAT BRINGS ME TO MY SEEMINGLY LAZY PATREON UPDATE!

Martha donated near the end of October. When I asked her whether she would rather a bio on how we know each other or a story about dragons (because her and I don’t have a huge history to go into), she gave me outlines for a fiction she wants in her name.

Initially, I found this task daunting. I was intimidated as to write something for anyone but me, let alone for her. I respect and admire her greatly, and I want to make the ensuring story the best it can be.

Now, that sounds like I am making excuses for not doing things, but really I am putting more time to make sure everything is right. I am going to make her story the next ansP after You’re Not Dead ch.2 comes out in December.

My good flying nun, I am excited.

ANYWAY: Check out the Patreon. Check out the stories I have so far. Let me know of what you think of the new You’re Not Dead rework!

You’re Not Dead version 2

I have noticed myself having a hard time accepting that people can do obvious things, such as walking. It’s probably just because I have spent damn near a sixth of my life in a wheelchair.

Oh yeah: that’s a thing. I have been in the chair for five years as of the 30th. Well, at least unable to walk. I guess it could be argued that I first used a wheelchair in February when I went to that aquarium in Toronto, and had done nothing by lie in bed for four months.

ANYWAY.

My point is more that, as people get make assumptions towards things I can do, I find myself surprised at what they can do. My wife and I have been apartment searching as of late, and our search has been limited due to steps to the door with no wheelchair access available. I forget that people do not have to be concerned with things like that. I forget that even a flight of stairs that travels up one story of a building is of no consequence to an abled. The threshold can be up a foot because people have knees and are able to get up that no problem.

I have a similar, but not as extreme, issue with the apartment I am in right now. There is a CM-high lip to get into my unit. I am able to get over it no issue usually, but it does create a challenge in the event I am carrying groceries, laundry, or packages.

On the flip-side, so I do not always bitch and complain how hard life is, watching someone who does not use a wheelchair try to do ANYTHING is the funniest thing ever. Everyone knows you push the wheels and propel the wheel, but there is almost always a moment of confusion that casts over faces whenever an able bodied person gets into a wheelchair for the first time.

AND GOD FORBID YOU COAX THEM INTO SOMETHING MORE COMPLICATED!

Anyone who has spent a few hours with me knows that I love to pull wheelies. Just stationary ones, and even then I am far from impressive. I THOUGHT. My dad tried to pull one after fixing my breaks up one day and fell backwards instantly. I had to hide my face because I could not hide the smirk that traveled across my face.

In anewsinPublication news, people who sign up on Patreon before the month is out at $3 or more are promised a copy of the revised and updated You’re Not Dead.
WITH THAT SAID:
I am still working on fixing all the things I placed awkwardly in the pages of that book. I have already added several pages by just explaining things properly. Who knew that if you write things well, they turn out decent?

ANYWAY: Next month I am releasing the first chapter as the ansP release. I will not be sending the Patreons anything until the book is done, and then they will get the book in its entirety.

Update Time!!!

I usually write blog posts by Monday and have short stories lined up for at least a month. For the first time in a long time, I find myself with a totally empty cue. That is not because I am lazy, but because I find myself with too much in my mind to make a coherent post.

I have written and rewritten this post several times. I refuse to leave you hanging for another week while I sort out my personal life and try to find even a stand of something interesting. Therefore, I am writing this! Is that not super exciting? I know you are having a hard time containing your sounds of enthusiasm and glee.

Know what? I’m just going to put the developments that have come, in rapid succession, over the last week.

  1. I found a new way to step! To make it more exciting: I KNOW THAT IT IS THE RIGHT WAY! I have been walking with my knees locked for the last year. I knew it was wrong, but I could make it KIND OF work for the few steps that I needed to complete when using the washroom or going to bed. DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS A BEND IN YOUR KNEE WHEN YOU STAND?!?!?!? I did not. It seemed counter-intuitive to me. Why, when you are trying to stand, would you bend your knee? What is this magic?! Then, my wife mocked me for stepping like a pirate who has seen better days and explained the mechanics of the leg further than anyone has explained them in the past. Please keep in mind: she was a parapoligic for about a year and re=learned how to walk herself, so she is allowed to make fun of me. Well, let’s be frank, anyone can make fun of me so long as I know that it is in jest. I digress, I can now take a couple of more steps. Still no where near not needing the chair for open spaces, but things feel a little more comfortable AND I feel less silly. Oh, and my knees no longer feel like they are going to explode out of my flesh. So, I guess that’s a good thing.
  2. AMAZON REJECTED ME! By that, I mean the thing I was trying out. If I want to be paid by Amazon for advertising for them, I have to collect sales in my first “X” days. A fair number of them. In a reality that surprises NO ONE: I didn’t even get clicks for the links that I had made available to the public. I do understand Amazon’s wish the govern this, seeing as they already have thousands of people advertising for them. This increases the importance of devices like Patreon to make sure that I can keep doing this. I love writing, and I am always trying to find new avenues to do it. So far, the short stories are going well, and people seem to enjoy them. At least, they do to my “face.” WHAT A GREAT SEGUE INTO POINT THREE! segue is a stupid word.
  3. Story three is taking a lot longer than I wanted it to. I wanted to write something completely original. Like I mentioned in a recent post, I want to dissect and rewrite an old story idea I had originally come up with over ten years ago. In trying to do that, I have come up with literally HUNDREDS of premisses and intro paragraphs. All of which I get so far, then they fall apart. I have written most of them down in a document so I have them in case I need them later, but I am feeling the heat as I want to have the Patreon supporters their copy in just over a week from today.

So, yeah. See how not one of these points are longer than a few lines? Each would make a good blog entry if I could expand it further than just a few lines. I prefir to keep things at more than just a thought or two, though I do realize how just one thought would make things easier to follow.

DAMN MY MIND. BACK TO THE GRIND.

heh… that rhymed.
And so did that…

I talked to someone…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~PATREON SUPPORTER TALE :: Bree Harrison

Bree and I go back a number of years. Early me playing drums for the Twin, anyway. She was that girl with the expensive camera, pushing her way to the front of concerts, trying to get fantastic photographs of bands. She was very good at taking pictures. To my knowledge, she never monetized the practice, but she could have.

I digress.

So, as I was saying, I saw her around long before I talked to her. She started hanging out with members of my band. Me, with the license, got to know her over driving her from the concerts back to my vocalist house. She grew on me, much as a fungus would grow on a rock.

No, that analogy paints a bad picture. Let me try the metaphor again.

Her and I became quick friends. We both rarely slept, and would spend many nights exchanging solum looks while we helped people through many different stages of inebriation. We both had a similar outlook on life, friends, music, and family. I am not saying that her and I had the same woes, but we would find the same things funny.

Like Katie, I considered Bree a sister. Unlike Katie, Bree lived in the same town, and I would see her almost everyday some months.

She moved across country to BC a number of years ago. Between that event, and me getting sick, I have only seen her a couple of times in the last few years. I miss her dearly.

I also have to mention that SHE DONATED $100! I asked her swiftly if that was on purpose, she assured me that it was, though temporary as her work was seasonal.

So, I conclude with: FUCK YOU, BREE! I love you and I hope we can spend time together soon.

Thanks to her donation, the next ansP releases will be back to back months. So, to clarify, September, October, November, and December will all see releases. We’ll see what the donations are like, and I’ll see if releases continue in this pattern for the new year.

A tale of Toronto ALSO news about selling out.

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

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

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

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

Gumble grumble something about first world problems grumble grumble…

Whee! Tangent time!

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

Check that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click the image below if you are interested in purchasing!