Sunday, March 29, 2015

Why I Can't Quit My Day Job

MILK-BLOOD is on sale for .99 Cents, and this news is being shared with a dozen different digital outlets this week.
It starts today with sponsoring a $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway on The Kindle Book Review. If you arrived here from that site, then welcome! Please grab a .99 cent copy and increase your chances to win. MILK-BLOOD is a quick, riveting read that I promise will glue your eyeballs to the page.
If you don’t like it, then  just send your receipt and address here and I will send a dollar bill right to your door.  US only. ( I am not joking)
Later this week, the .99 cent sale will also be featured on Booksends, Fussy Librarian, EbookSoda, Great Book Deals, Digital Book Today, Ebook Booster, Ereadernews, Genrepulse and 2 or 3 others.  It’s like I had a virus, and violently sneezed highly contagious drops off .99 cent ads everywhere.  This is the joy of being a publisher/writer, and having your own line of books. You don’t have to hope and pray that the publisher believes in you enough to market, and you don’t have to split the proceeds with anyone. Next thing you know, writing is actually paying for itself.  
I am not quitting my day job anytime soon, partly because but it is my day job working in mental health and substance abuse treatment that gives me the material to write in the first place. Without that I couldn’t write
No, I do not write about any specific client. That is wrong, unethical, and not really writing. Instead, I make up characters all my own. I take all the angst that is shared with me, add in healthy dashes of from my own psyche, put it in a pot, boil it up for a while, strain, and then serve to you al dente.
Most of us would be amazed to learn the extent of drug addiction and psychosis there is in the world. Right now, somebody near you has just put some strange substance in their veins. Or they have gone into a medicine cabinet and are chumping on some prescription medications to get high. Or they hear voices telling them to hurt themselves. Or they have paranoid delusions that their neighbors are robots. That the radio is talking to them. That they have to pop their own eyeball out. That they are Jesus.
That last part would be would be wonderful if they were, but, unfortunately, they are actually sick and suffering. Lots of sick and suffering everywhere, but redemptive suffering exist. It’s as old as Jesus.
Now go. Shoo... go win that $25 amazon gift card on The Kindle Book Review

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Most Pressing Question About Human Behavior

The whole reason I started this blog was to answer one important question. Something about human behavior has perplexed me forever, and continues to perplex me. I keep waiting for it to change, but it has not, so it's finally time for me to ask the question:

Why do humans feel it a privilege to be the first to board an airplane?  Why do we wait in line to be the first to sit in the most uncomfortable seats on the planet, mushed next to a person so close that we may need a paternity test soon after?

You know how it works: you are waiting at the gate, and the flight attendant announces that "WE are now boarding first class customers".

Right away, the non-first class customers (so by definition, I suppose second class citizens. The whole scene is like the reaping at The Hunger Games) stand up and get in line, waiting for their chance to get on the plane after the Elites and Ruling Class have had their chance to take their seats. Lines form, 40 people deep, which only lead to bigger lines down the habitrail tube. All so we can sit for 30 minutes extra before the plane even takes off.

Isn't the biggest complaint about flying being squished in those tiny chairs. Yet we feel it is a privilege to do this early?  What? Why!  Shouldn't it be a privilege to be the last to get on the plane? Aren't those who get on early making the flight an extra 20 to 40 minutes longer!?  Yet it happens. Long lines to be the first to get on.

And then you hear the announcement: "We are now boarding those with small children"

That makes even less sense. Let's let the 6 year olds, who really can't stay in their seats, get on early.

Well, I have been doing my best to defy this anti-logic. I aim to have the boarding gate hit me in the ass and have nobody behind me when I board.

But since we hear it is a privilege of those who paid for a first class ticket to get on first, perhaps it seems a privilege for us to get on early, too. To get there before someone next to us. All for the privilege of getting our prostrate checked by the person next to us.

I just don't understand it. Why make the flight a half hour longer?  

*You need more time to get settled?

Has there ever NOT been enough time? Isn't there that 15 minute period between when everybody is sitting and the plane starts to roll.

*You need space in the overhead bin?

Okay, that can make some sense. The space can fill up quickly. But, count the number of times that you were unable to squeeze the person's bag next to you into a smashed ball and then squeeze your own. If its over three, you can board early. If not, remember my voice in your head telling you to stop your insane behavior. Don't make a flight longer than it is. Don't be afraid of your freedom.

I am so glad to have gotten this off of my chest. I can stop blogging now. Not just because I finally spoke my truth, but since I reached another pinnacle.  My recent release MILK-BLOOD has been reviewed on one of the most popular horror blogs in the world: GINGER NUTS of HORROR

First class customers, check it out here:

Followed by those with small children.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Walking Dead Kills the Horse

The Walking Dead is in a strange spot in Alexandria. We are used to this scene: the group being tricked into a sanctuary that turns out to be full of humans more evil than any zombie. But so far, it's different here. The people have been nice. Besides a few incidents, they have been warm and kind and good neighbors. Naive, sure. And mysterious, a little. But it's a good place to raise a kid.

Alexandria seems oblivious to what's really going on in the world, like most any suburbia who tries to wall things out, and I felt relieved when Shay finally freaked out a bit. Thank you for that.

A politician you can trust.
Is it safe here? It's got to go bad, but how and why? I have no idea what to expect, but it seems like the Rick-managed group have acted a bit like the bad guys. Sneaking the guns back is not going to be seen as an act of kindness. When the town cop can't be trusted with guns and goes around kissing people's wives, there might be riots. 

Then there's Carol, who scared the shit out of me and that little boy who saw her stealing guns. Damn... Where the hell did she learn to do that? There is an irony that Carol, a past victim of domestic violence who must know what it's like to be scared into silence, could do such a thing. Her story has been one of victim to survivor to kick-ass powerful yet nurturing mother to us all. But now she goes all "don't tell anyone what I am doing or the monsters will get you" and then promises cookies.

That's what Perps do, right?

Darryl is back to being kick-ass Darryl.  I think he's at his best when he feels outside of the group. When he doesn't shower, doesn't buy-in, eats rodents, and mumbles semi-philosophical sweet nothings under his breath. "The longer they're out here, the more they become what they truly are"  he said of the horse, if I heard him correct through his dirty hair. Very cool how he's connected with the gay couple as outcasts. Oh, what would Merle think?

Then there's the horse. The horse was quite the twist. We all expected Darryl to lasso and tame the horse which was a beast of beauty in the land of the rotting dead. He nearly did, communing to the horse with a few sweet words before the horse trotted off. Next thing we know, the poor animal is getting eaten by walkers.

Did Darryl's action cause the horse let his guard down? thinking humans were not so bad, maybe I can be close to them, only to find that humans want to munch on your flesh as much as ride on your back? "Horse as symbol for the group trusting others and losing their wild nature" is an essay I'm sure I could get a B+ on in any English lit class. As it was, the writers had some guts and broke the one and only rule of horror: "never, ever kill the dog" (or the horse, for that matter).

This was a quiet episode that planted the seed for some interesting things to follow, one can only hope.  Now someone get me a god-damn pasta maker.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Acupuncture for Runners?

I went to an acupuncture appointment yesterday. Here's a shot of my leg with just a few of the 20 needles I had stuck inside of me in various locations.

Quick background story: My leg has been damaged, not getting any better, and I'm unable to run. I've tried numerous interventions including: weeks/months of complete rest, an MRI, a running specialist, an orthopedic sports specialist, a PCP who is a marathoner, a physical therapist, a massage therapist trained in ART techniques, the graston technique, electrical stimulation, consistent stretching, weights, cross training, prayers, and one resilient but terrified Mo-fo behind the wheel (that's me).

Diagnosis of my condition has ranged from torn muscle in my quadricep to scar tissue in my quadricep to abnormal bone growth directly into the muscle (Mysoitis Ossificans) 

None of the diagnoses lead to treatment that got me moving again (so far, the ART massages seemed of the biggest benefit)

My persistence lead me to explore acupuncture.

Unscientific google research says that acupuncture treats scar tissue and adhesions. It  interacts with the body's natural electrical systems and meridians to release the mojo and joo-joo and "Qi". It stimulates nerves and muscles getting them to release, resets neural pathways, and makes your endorphins flow. Picture your heart a volcano, and pumping blood like happy lava through your veins.

This is a garbage description of course, but search runners and acupuncture, and you'll find plenty of testimonials.

Prices can be steep, and I've already thrown probably $3,000 into this injury, so the way to go, I decided was what is called 'Community Acupuncture'. You still get the initial consultation with the acupuncturist, but receive the actual procedure in a room where others are receiving it as well. This allows the cost to be cheap since 2-6 are getting it done at the same time. 

Did it hurt? No. Only one of the needles going in did I feel a small prick. Taking them out did hurt a touch. But certainly not much.

Did it feel good.? Hellz yeah. Oh my, that is the biggest take away   It was the closest thing I have felt to a marijuana buzz in my life, (other than marijuana) but only the natural chemicals our bodies make was the source. Acupuncture is used to help heroin addicts detox, and I had always thought that this was just a posh way to pamper addicts, but now I'm a believer. It can be an incredible mood enhancer and bearer of serenity.  I brought my kindle with me yesterday, ready to relax and read, but I could not.  I felt dreamy, like a big fluffy unicorn dancing on rainbows. A small humm spread through my body. Think nitrous oxide in the dentist chair.

Was this perhaps a placebo effect? I am not sure, but I think not. When I came home, I still had the sensation like I was on laughing gas and I had blurry vision. I googled blurry vision and found it was the number one potential side effect of acupuncture treatment, so I figured it was working on me. The effects continued on, and I slept hard and deep.

There is an irony here. I'm having needles stuck inside my skin in order to feel high. In this case, it's all natural

But, will it help my leg and allow me to run? I certainly the hell hope so. The acupuncturist didn't do the hard sell at all, didn't make promises, only said with assured, quick confidence that it would help. The irony is all the other doctors seemed so much more God-dang sure of what they were doing yet didn't make an impact.  I go back again this week, and plan to give it 4-6 treatments to give it a chance.

The thing is, even if I knew today for a fact it wouldn't help my leg, I would be going back for my mind and spirit. Maybe someday I will run again. If so, I may look like this:

Lullabies for Suffering is Now Available on Kindle

Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror is now available on Kindle!   For Lullabies for Suffering on Amazon: Click Here...