The Above {ANEWSIN VOL. 8 — Jason Garden}

//Edited by Luka Riot

“Why must we do this?”

A skinny girl stands smoking a cigarette in the midst of a collection of carnage. Machines pick through the gore, collecting as many valuables as they could.

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.

Several corpses litter the street around her. The smell of decay fills the air. Skylar takes one more deep drag of her cigarette and lets the smoke slowly leave her mouth. The cloud just hovered around her lips as there was no wind to replace the air.

The smell was putrid: flesh and steel flood the ground where the two stand, and it is not shielded by the elements. The area is bathed in the sun, and the temperature is sitting at a balmy 40 Celsius. Carnage as far as the eye could see.

Their job was simple. They just had to collect any valuables they could find. May that be rare metals, jewelry, or small electronics. Cellphones are the best find, as they contain a trace of gold. It wasn’t much, but it could be just enough to make the week affordable.

“I need a fuckin’ shower.” Skylar proclaims as she flicks the smouldering end of her cigarette off to the side, narrowly avoiding a machine picking over remnants of a cadaver. “Hopefully, the smell of the soap will clean the stench from my mind.”

Steve laughs. “How poetic of you! Soap. D’ya think we can afford soap? I dunno ‘bout you, but I can barely afford the water for a shower.”

Just then, an explosion behind a wall shakes the ground.

“Do you think they know we’re here? That sounded a bit too chaotic to just be construction.” Skylar asks, her expression showing mild fear.

This was the life they half chose to lead. The masses were forced underground decades ago, and a handful of people were chosen to be scavengers, looking through rubble. The corporations still feud over bits of what remains on the mainland, trying to get their hands on materials to manufacture things to sell to people so they can remain dependent on the corporations, so the corporations can exploit the masses and rape the lands they once inhabited. 

“The bombs sound close. Too close. We need to bail.” Steve is now right behind Skylar as he calmly exclaims this.

Skylar lets out a slight chuckle as her face softens. “You read my mind.” She pulls out a pad from her bra and pushes a button on the face of the device.

A small flying ship comes to their location. It has only two seats, and the full span of the wings is only five meters. The two get on and it leaps into the air. It doesn’t generate much air, yet moves with great power and speed. Skylar gets behind the steering wheel and Steve, in the passenger seat, keeps his eyes out towards the horizon.

“Did you collect anything?” Steve asks his comrade. “Your pack looks rather empty.”

“Sight can be an illusion. Size means little in this game, you know that.” Skylar takes her right arm and tosses a small satchel towards Steve. Inside is two rings and a cell phone. “We’re set for a bit, anyway. What did you find?”

“Some small stuff, but nothing this classy!” Steve’s tone is quite jovial. “We’re set for almost a month, even if we get half market value for this stuff!”

Steve puts the salvage into a bucket under the seat he is in. It clangs against a few other things that the two got from a previous venture. By Steve’s observation, they have the bucket half full.

The two of them soar through the air for a bit, keeping their elevation roughly a kilometer above the ground. They only remain at that height for a couple of minutes before Skylar suddenly drops altitude.

“I fucking hate this part.”

They enter a small cave, barely enough for their vessel to get through. It is far from well maintained. They ride the small entrance tunnel for at least an hour.

“Are the walls closing in around me, or am I just loosing it?” Skylar asks.

“You know you’re fine. You’ve done this a million times” Steve replies, sounding exhausted.

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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…

One Week Later.

Last week, I published the first anewsinPublication. I got very little in the way of feedback, either constructive or otherwise. I am not offended, just insecure. I am, after all, an artist of sorts.

There is something rather troubling when you get no feedback versus bad feedback. If someone hated your work, then they at least read it and felt strongly enough to say “that was crap!” before moving on with their life. When there is no feedback, you worry that what you produced did not touch anyone in anyway.

I remember playing shows and intentionally ruining a song or two just to find out if someone would call me out on it. Ironically, those shows were always met with reviews praising us. I say ‘us’ because I did that with pretty much every musical outfit I was with at the time.

What is the point that I am trying to drive home? Read the story, and respond how you see fit. Share with friends and tell them to read it ONLY if you see that as a fit action. Tell me you hated it if you hate it, but please tell me why. I am doing this to better my writing, and I will not learn anything if I am just left to my own devices. ESPECIALLY not now, being as I am editing my own work. If something is crap, if it does not blend, if the timeline of events is off, please tell me. There is a good chance that it was NOT on purpose.

Now for an explanation of this post: I did not know what to upload with this week. I have a couple of topics I would like to explore, but it became Friday before I even wrote the first word of this piece. Please forgive me.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: I fixed the PayPal link on the last article. So sorry about that.

EQUALLY IMPORTANT: There is a hint of what’s to come up on the anewsin Publication page for September.

No News is Good News?

As the title implies, I have been up to very little this week. Mostly writing, and editing, for my new project.

I am pretty sure that I have the first story (called Elaine) complete to satisfactory. Please, join the Patreon for a subscription, and look into the explanations page if you are an aspiring writer!

Oh: and happy June!

Special thank you to my personal Patrons! With there help, I am able to afford to keep this site up another year!

I have nothing else to report for this update, so I will leave you with an album you need in your life. Die Hexe is by far one of, if not the greatest bands I found through MtM. Give it a listen. Let me know what you think!

UPDATE A FEW DAYS LATER!

I have already given up on doing the publication thing the way I was gearing up for. There was just one or two text-based supporters and just one person even signed up for it. Between that and the fact that I could not make the price of signing up lower than a dollar, I decided to shut it down.

This brings good news to everyone, though! I am going to be going ahead with releasing a new story every couple of months! There are more details on my Patreon, but I am going to be posting them here. For now, it will be instead of a regular blog. I have updated my Patreon to include new goals related to that, as well as a goal to help me afford my medication every month.

Have I mentioned recently how much I love you? The people who frequent this site are instrumental in giving me a reason to do something/anything with myself. The Patreon supporters are fantastic as well, for letting me afford to do this. You get love, also!

two in a month!?! & NEWS GLORIOUS NEWS!

I am terrible at multitasking. I am launching something new next week, so my focus has been there. I am sorry, I will do regular updates starting a week from today. I promise.

REAL UPDATE!

As I stated above: I have been crafting something that I am very excited to bring to the world!

anewsin Publishing is the name of the new project! Basically, a dollar every month gets a subscription of sorts!

By e-mail, you will receive a PDF of a short story by an unpublished author. Most stories will be shorter in length, but they will be excellent! Check out the Patreon for more information and a way to subscribe!

Some music for you! I have been binging The Flaming Lips as of late. I am not quite sure why. I really recommend this song.

I blew my metaphorical load early. I hope you do not mind. If you ARE interested, but unsure of what kind of content to expect, there is a file uploaded where you get the intro to the new work.

I did a bad

So, I was doing all this planning and research for my next update. It was going to be another top-10 list of albums that I highly recommend listening to. I was planning on going about it entirely differently and I was genuinely excited to share it.

Then: I did something horrible.

I do not have a strong excuse, but it did not save I probably hit the “be a moron and throw away hours of work?” button when it came up.

REGARDLESS: I spent seven hours getting together some amazing albums, finding songs, and writing blurbs about each one. It probably was not all that good, but I thought it was fantastic.

I have talked before on this site about the importance of doing something you enjoy to survive another moment in this bleak existence. I have three sources for distraction: music, writing, my wife. That is not to say that is all I have in life, quite the opposite: between friends and family, my calendar is rarely empty. I will say those are my favourite and most time consuming things because I make them so. I would not have it any other way.

~PATREON UPDATE AND IMPORTANT QUESTION

I updated the Patreon to include a nifty reward. If you donate $10 a month, you will now be privy to a free PDF of a book in some state, plus your name in the Thank You list at the end of said book.

Of course, this will be a month to month thing, and there will not be a release every month. I do, however, want to get to a point where I can write a novella a month.

To those out of the know, a Novella is roughly 100 pages: a little longer than a short story but shorter than a full novel. I take great pride in my ability to write those so far. I have actually been working on another couple as we speak.

I would also like to announce that I am re-working You’re Not Dead and trying to find a proper publisher. That is not saying anything bad about Friessen Press. Quite the opposite, really. They gave me the confidence to pursue writing on a grander scale. They are self-publication, however. Though they have fantastic tools and decent distribution, it costs far too much to continue on with them.

Now, for the important question: Do you have something that you listen to while doing artistic things? I have been spinning Kevin Drew’s Spirit If… album at almost grotesque amounts. Between that, and Do Make Say Think, I have right to believe that my wife is loosing her mind with the peculiar sounds radiating from my computer.

MEH.

~IMPORTANT: I DID IT!

I am releasing “This Does Not Matter” on the 5th of February. Pre-orders are live now, and I am looking into doing a softcover release if I see there is a demand for it.

I would love to expand where the book is available, but I am completely independent with this one. If you know of the link for anything else (like iTunes or Kobo), please leave a link in the comments below.

Also, not that I am expecting much, but if any Publishing Agency is interested in either this work, or my next one, let me know.

I am sorry that this is week four of me not posting what I say I am going to post. I have been a bit more pre-occupied than I thought I would be. I cannot promise next week will be better, but I have ideas if it is not. I can, however, promise that there will not be an update Sunday.

I digress: please consider pre-ordering “This Does Not Matter” or buying it on February 5th!

You’re so vain

I do not know how arrogant this is, but I am listening to an old album while writing my next book. I think (because I cannot bring myself to bullshit) that I am almost done: maybe just a page or two left before editing. I think I am going to name the book “it doesn’t matter” in all lowercase because I am a douche. You would think, in a time of hashtags and trending, that I would write something and name it one word to keep things easy. I am, however, convinced that the aesthetic is fantastic.

Just released the first chapter of the new book recently. I hope you like it!

Just saying.

(this post doesn’t matter)

I think I may have done all I can with book two. I am sending it to a friend of mine to read over to let me know how bad of an idea this was. In the event that this was not a bad idea, however, I will have a new book out in about six months! It is called this book does not matter. and it is short, again. Twice the length of You’re Not Dead, however.

This will be the first fiction that I have written that is more than a few pages long. That part makes me incredibly nervous, but also really excited to share it with the world.

TACKED ON LATE: The post that I made last week was post 150. I might be the only person who finds that a really cool number.