Hey: Some news!

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

Wheelchairs are Not a Death Sentence

I was talking to someone a while ago online so they could not see me. It was an old friend who I had not talked to in a number of years. We were talking about how last they heard anything about me, I was about to die. They explained that they were distressed by the news, and they wished they had been able to make it out to show their support to my family when the worst came to pass. They had not kept up with anyone, or looked on social media to see how I was doing. They then notified me that they were going to be in town and asked if they could come by to see me.

Not maliciously, I agreed and they made plans to come by. I was very excited: this was a friend I had not seen since high school. We were never that close, but the exchanges we had were pleasant when they happened. We had gone for coffee about a decade ago, run into each other at concerts, and we worked in close proximity. We never had many mutual friends, and our circles of connections were never close.

When they came to the door, I opened it. Imidiately, they broke down into tears and started murmering “I’m so sorry” between sobs.

I cannot say I was offended. I really did not pay much head until they gestured towards the wheelchair.

“I can’t believe this. You used to stand so proud.”

I was more taken back than offended. The implication that I was not at all the person I was before the wheelchair hurt. The judgement was made before they got to see what I had been doing: before they said more than ten words to me, and before I could even respond. The idea that the chair was a status instead of what it was: an aid.

Wheelchairs are NOT to be a reflection of who you are talking to. Yes, life is more dificult in some ways. Yes, I am in the chair because I cannot walk on my own. No, it is not dictating parts of my life.

To assume that my everything revolves around the chair is rather shallow. It shows a level of disregard for me the person, and a fixation on me the object. I cheated death twice, not being able to walk is only a minor repercussion.

Yes, being in a wheelchair does suck, in some ways. However, it is how I function and get around now. I will not say that it is preferred, but I refuse to bend to it being the worst outcome for any situation. I got out of my brain swelling with only minor brain damage that effected mostly superficial parts of me. I know it sounds bad, but I consider that a win.

No, I cannot work right now, and it sucks. So I write non-fiction to busy myself. To express creative endeavours, I write fiction. I am trying to get published because I know that, with proper support, I can do that. I am not even eluding to accessibility support, I am just terrible at marketing.

Tangent aside, if someone in your life finds themselves in a wheelchair, find out how they feel about it before jumping to condolences and depression. They might be in a good place, or even the best place they have been in for a while.

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!

Patient Zero

I created something that I think is okay.

Well, just the video. The song was given to me by my old guitar player {Hannah Rae Jordan} months ago, and I have been trying to figure out a way to share it with everyone since.

She has informed me that this was just a demo, and it has gone through many permutations since this recording. In fact, she claims that it’s far from done.

This does not change the fact that I love this recording very much BECAUSE it feels like a demo. This hiss, though probably not intended, fills a void from the lack of bass. The missing drum track also adds to the almost haunting feel of the song. I would argue that my horrible camera skills do not do the idea of this song justice.

Please, give it a listen. Give me (and her) feedback on the ideas at play. Very rarely, in life, do we find something that reminds us that there is beauty in the chaotic. This song reminds me that everything will be okay.

How long…?

MORBID THOUGHT! How long would I have to disappear for before someone thought to see if I was still alive?

I go days without talking to people, the exceptions being my wife and family. On that note, they have little contact with the people I speak to. From what I can tell, minus the lack of birthday wishes (or BIRTHDAY), it may never occur that I have vanished.

I rarely update statuses. I do the #vss365 on Twitter, but that community is so huge that no one may notice. I post blog updates here very often (too often?) but I schedule things if I even suspect that I would miss an update.

So, that is a thing. Now, what if I just WANTED to vanish? It would be very possible for me to just “kill” Jason Garden and start again. Not easy, no. There would be far too much to figure out with family and shit, and I make my income (for now) from the government. I am also epileptic, so there is a medical tracking on me.

As far as I have seen, little to nothing about me being paraplegic. I am just a stat where that is concerned.

My mind wanders in strange places when I am working away on projects.

Spam

I find myself at a genuine loss as to why spam comments and/or e-mails exist. I understand the point: to raise awareness of a product or service. My confusion comes from the question “does it actually work?” as opposed to why it exists at all.

I can only speak for me, but I do not check unsolicited e-mails and I filter dozens of comments on this site. I have never once been tempted to get a larger penis or see singles in my area. We all know of the anachronistic “member of royalty” that became disposed and needs to give you thousands to make sure that their fortune doesn’t fall into wrong hands.

Maybe it’s a generational thing. Maybe my cynicism is such to make me delete those without reading. Maybe both? I am not entire sure.

I derive a great deal of entertainment dispatching of such unwanted advertisements. I always go through and skim over the comments to see what ridiculous things are being marketed my way. Most of the time it’s related to the post, but occasionally I really have no idea where they get the concept that I might be interested.

What I really enjoy are the spam text messages: the messages where they are disguised as your phone carrier. However, when you track the number where they area code is based out of, it turns out to be a homestead in Winnipeg. Do people actually click those links blindly?

So, please fill the comment section under this post with the most brazen and confusing attempts at sales! If you are one to go along with spam, why? Finally, do you have any concepts on how to avoid it OTHER than spam filters?

Why Blog?

Alternative name for this post was “Why Write?” but I feel like the answer to that is too broad but can still be answered very easily (I have to to get the demons out). For now, I will stick to this topic, because it’s easier to answer and less etherial.

As everyone is no doubt sick of hearing me harp on about, I got sick in 2013. Equally harped about is how I died at least twice, once made very public. I have mentioned how over 100 people showed up to say their goodbyes, to which I am overwhelmed and elated by the show of support for both me and my family. That event really is what got me started on this journey, though. I was both trying to figure out my standpoint on the whole event, and explaining it to everyone. It is nice having a place I can get someone to read a more structured version of the events as opposed to my trying to ramble my way through.

Now, for the less structured explanation. I have to write. I have to do something artistic. It’s like a knife driving into my brain. To relieve the pressure, I need to do something. So, I write. The book came together by accident, and I realize that I enjoyed going down that path.

Another thing it gives me is (at least an illusion of) a voice. I can say things in a public forum and have ways to get feedback. I have, in the past, only received feedback in semi-private areas like FaceBook or Twitter. I always apreciate comments and I hope that, one day, a conversation about the topic I just brought up can happen.

If what I write is not comedy that day, it is meant as a conversation starter. I try to bring up topics to create dialogue. Often, I see the topics as (at the very least) personal issues that people would appreciate discussing. I moderate every comment as to prevent ass-hattery. By that, I don’t mean if someone disagrees with whatever. Just comments like “LAWL YOUR SAD” or whatever because they can be unneeded.

For as much as I write about it, I don’t choose ventures that make money. First music, now writing. I am the worst bread-winner.

Regardless, I am enjoying writing the more blog situation. I get the freedom to express anything I want, and you people choose to read it! Good Lord, you’re all strange…

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 “~”!

Do what you say you will.

Something that has been literally holding my life back is people making empty promises. I couldn’t tell you how often I am told that someone will do something, then either don’t come through, or pretend that the conversation never happened.

Now, it is something entirely different if you say “I’m going to visit every so often” then fail to do so. That falls under the category of wishful thinking. Therefore, you’re a dick, but you haven’t ruined lives or bailed on anything greater than a nice gesture.

The kind of promises that I am talking about is saying something along the lines of offering to pay for a service, only to renege that offer past the point of no return. Especially when the decision was made only because you make yourself available on fallback.

Example: when I published my first book, I did so independently. That is to say that I paid for printing, editing, and distribution. Now, I did this with no expectation to be paid by anyone for doing any of it, but I was promised by a third party that they would reimburse me for what I have put out. I made sure, triple checked, then went ahead with aditional things that made the publication easier. Thing that I would not have bothered with if I wasn’t promised that they would cover the whole cost.

I am well aware that it was expensive: it cost me around three-thousand upfront. My issue lies with the idea that I dropped another two-thousand on advertising and localization that I would not have if I didn’t think that the initial was going to be covered.

Now, is that my fault? I cannot say that it’s not. I didn’t wait for the money to appear before I spent more. If I was smarter, I would have waited for the exchange before I went ahead and dropped more onto that failing venture.

Please, keep in mind: I say failing because I made back about a fifth of what I put into the project. I do NOT regret the book, though I do feel like the rewrite that I have half completed is MUCH better. More news on that in the coming weeks.

That is one, very shallow, example of what I am talking about. I could go into issues surrounding school, medical stuff, rent, dogs, food, and all of this would ignore the times that I have been in a good financial standing and had my questions disregarded to generate a much worse situation. I am not going to bring up spacifics. There is too high of risk of the people involved reading this and realizing that I am talking about them, and I don’t want to deal with any of it right now.

I guess this devolved into a rant about money. Again. It seems to be a reocuring topic on this blog, and I am very sorry about that. I very much wish that I could ignore money and just focus on other things, like writing and walking.

Side-note: does anyone else find it mildly offensive that society puts so much emphasis on walking? I realize that this comes off as me justifying me not walking, but that just strengthens my point. The fact that I don’t walk shouldn’t make me seem like a burden or someone you need to caudle. In fact, what I have survived (both medically and in life) should inspre the opposite reaction from people. I AM OKAY. I WILL SURVIVE.

Another aside, please consider giving to my Patreon. I am okay, physically and mentally. I cannot afford to feed my dogs some weeks, though. I might be okay physically or whatever, but that doesn’t mean that I can hold a traditional job. Plus, everyone is so close to hitting the $100 mark! I want to do something amazing for that number. I want to post something fascinating, or do a video, or bake dinner for people, or SOMETHING. If you have ideas, place them in the comments below. Please, consider helping me hit that mark. Even just a dollar is fucking fantastic. PLUS and the ansP subscription is only $1 right now! That means you get releases early!

~something exciting?

I want to start off this post my exclaiming my excitement for a new keyboard! It is just a replacement for my ten-year-old keyboard, but I am very excited and am also starting to work on later ansP’s. I already have the rest of the year figured out.

ON MORE EXCITEMENT! I have changed my Patreon around a little bit. Now, subscription is only $1 a month. That gives you early access to ansP’s, AND you get your name listed with everyone else that is beautiful on the Patreon page.

Side note, I am looking for suggestions for other rewards, if someone has any ideas? I am stranded with what I have simply because I am broke! Give me your two cents!