Saturday, March 31, 2018

My life on a single graph.

I know, I know. But check out this graph:

For any of my fellow independent authors out there, if you've never looked at your sales rank at, I highly recommend it. Along with viewing your books' current rankings, you can view your overall ranking in book sales, keeping track of data from as little as the past two weeks, to as long as you've been publishing. Or at least since September 28th, 2012. You'll forgive me for not researching that date further, but I think that's the date they started keeping track of sales in this format. I've actually been self-publishing on Amazon since 2001, and on the Kindle since 2008. So I don't know if the September date is arbitrary, or if the folks at Amazon actively decided against showing me number prior to 2012 as they were just that depressing.

On the other hand, it may simply have to do with the Mayan calendar. The world ended in 2012 and ever since we've been existing in some after-life illusion that makes us think we're carrying on as normal. The 2012 date is an oversight on some higher power's part, as my sales rank is a little too irrelevant to warrant masking the truth.

So let's take it all in. From the end of the old world to today. I actually love this graph. Not because it looks like polygraph results (that is pretty neat though). But because I can see the story it tells. The ups and downs of my life in recent years.

In 2012 I was a student, finishing up my certification in forensic investigation while taking chemistry and biology classes. I'd been offered a job to continue with the forensics program after graduation, shortly before this graph started. I wouldn't officially start the job for almost a year, so you can see a space where I'm still frequently writing, advertising, and little by little, losing focus on my fiction. I entered graduate school and was in a long distance relationship while -frankly- putting too much focus into every word of every lecture, desperately trying to convince myself I deserved the job I'd been given. You can see the lull in late 2013 to mid 2014 where I was barely writing. The following year tells a sad story.

The lowest points on the graph correspond to a particularly dark couple of years. My cat, Franny, had a tumor in her chest. For months I struggled to keep her fed, comfortable, and happy. My relationship at the time was in a bad place, and my anxiety really started to overwhelm. If I was selling the occasional book in that time, I hardly noticed.

In early, not long after Franny passed, 2015 I was diagnosed with a c-diff infection. I should say misdiagnosed for about a month, hospitalized, correctly diagnosed, and quarantined for a couple of days. I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, so after several months of battling c-diff with antibiotics, every little thing was a new symptom to some life ending disease. For almost a year, I was essentially the sort of person who takes webmd for its word, constantly dying of one thing or another. Without insurance, I was checking myself into the hospital about once a month, racking up debt, and driving everyone I knew insane. I broke off my relationship that year and was in a dark place for it.

I can look at this graph from 2015 to 2016 and see depression, the self loathing, and the constant anxiety. I'll never forget December 26th, 2015, when I left work and checked myself into the hospital after an old friend passed away from heart failure. Apparently my form of mourning him manifested as mimicking symptoms of a heart attack. At least that's what I told myself it was. While they were performing tests and I was stuck on a bed until five in the morning, I knew it was my last day on Earth and I was leaving it an empty, bitter, broken person with nobody at his bedside.

Obviously that didn't happen. Instead, a few conversations and conclusions later, it was determined that all these hospital visits and my year of convoluted symptoms were a steady blend of stress, anxiety, and depression. I wasn't diagnosed sooner because, well, at the ER they treat your current symptoms. If they can't find anything wrong, they can't treat it. It wasn't until they started looking at my medical history and realizing I had a long history of nothing that conclusion could finally be formed.

So I started treatment for depression. I was medicated. I tried a few things. I dealt an assault of side effects. On the graph you can see the faint beginnings of an upward trend in 2016 as I started to pull myself together. While I had published Necromantica and Whisper in late 2015, it really wasn't until mid 2016 when I started to feel like my old self again.

I say started to because it was still a long climb. And that climb is by far my favorite part of the graph. I can see the good days starting to outweigh the bad. I can see when I started to get back into my writing, when I said not to give up on myself. When I started opening up to people. When I started being more proactive and sharing my fiction. The failures are still there, but the graph shows the past few months, when I accepted that my previous methods of advertising and sharing weren't all that effective and took more business-like approaches to my work. When I formed my own publishing house, Blue Donut Books. I started paying for advertising. I started giving out books and doing occasional interviews. The graph shows this slow and steady increase, bringing me back to where I was in 2012. Even a little better. In February this year, I've had my highest ranking ever. 47,029. Not exactly a best seller. A far reach from #1. But looking at the past few years, such a lofty goal doesn't feel out of reach. Today if you go to your local bookstore and request one of my books, they're still not going to know who you're talking about. But as long as I keep writing, keep working, and keep getting my work out there, it'll happen. This graph isn't just showing me how far I have to climb, but how far I've come.

For more, be sure to check out and follow my author's page at Amazon.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday

I’m a little behind on my Bible studies, so I want to make sure I have this right. Today symbolizes when the messiah was tortured, ridiculed, and stuck up on a plank to bleed out. And a lot people 1) celebrate this, and 2) celebrate by taking the day off work and shopping.

Is that fairly accurate? I just want to make sure I’m the one who’s backwards here.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The first post of 2018

So it turns out I'm terrible at this.

Like, you ever wake up and say, "Oh yeah. I have a blog!"

...And then decide you really don't have much to write about?

...More forthcoming. Hopefully.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Yet another rambling on the end of the world.

It's not that I've lost hope in the future of the human race, life on Earth, and our continued existence in the universe. I'm just taking an honest look at the world right now and thinking out loud, "Yeah, this could be the shit that does us in."

I don't even really want to discuss it. You guys are watching the news. You're seeing your overly political friends' Facebook rants. You get it. World War III could be around the corner. There's quite a lot of greenhouse gas about. Every day is a new scandal. Our media closer resembles Saturday morning cartoons than a provider of information.

Nothing shocking.

I just can't help but feel like we're at this tipping point where we need to decide if we're going to buck up and do what it takes to carry on as a species and civilization, or if we'd rather just go down in flames, laughing maniacally at a universe that was never going to hear us anyway.

So here's the question I've been pondering for some time now.

If humanity ends up killing itself off, or let's even go the distance and say if humanity ends up wiping out all life on Earth through its faults, is that really such a big deal in the grand scheme of things?

From our perspective, it sure it. I'm trying to imagine a little broader than that. There are countless stars and planets out there. At this point, we're just not advanced enough to know if there is other life out there. It's probably going to be quite some time before we figure that one out. But it's a safe assumption. With all the stars. With all the galaxies. With all the possibilities spanning the great infinity, there's probably a lot of life out there. I mean just tons. Oodles. And if even a tiny fraction of the planets that support life also develop as advanced species, it stands to reason that there are still bunches of those out there. 

Our general assumption is that if a planet has life and has a technologically advanced species, then at some point, this species is going to turn to the stars and explore further and further out. Possibly colonize multiple planets. Maybe figure out how to warp around and refuel using stars and asteroids or whatever. And as long as we're imagining that, I'm going to assume that a good chunk of these aliens out there are going to make it. At some point, our universe is going to host a number of alien species who meet each other, share resources, figure out the meaning of it all, and... I don't know... develop exciting sports and interplanetary ways of making out.

But as long as we're considering the idea, it's safe to assume that for every technological species that makes it in the universe, there are a whole mess of them that don't. Just to throw out some examples:

How many civilizations reached their industrial revolution, had their cities full of smog, and never quite figured out that such a thing was problematic? It's a pretty safe bet that somewhere out there, some mass of people were suffocated by their own progress. Others still probably had scientists and researchers saying, "Wait! All this machinery is emitting gasses that poison us!" But were heavily silenced by the people running the machines.

Somewhere in the universe, an entire population died off because they never figured out STD's. Their leaders said, "We need more workers! Just keep fucking everybody!" And the masses responded, "Hooray!" until there wasn't enough food, they all turned to cannibalism, and died out some horrifying blood orgy.

...Man, that got dark fast!

Being a bit more practical, other aliens were probably killed off by whatever bacteria that happened to run rampant. I bet that one happens moderately often. It wasn't even two hundred years ago that we started saying, "Oh shit, guys! We need to start washing our hands."

Oh, sure. There are probably entire planets killed off by more sexy moments of mass destruction. Some big ass asteroid. Being too close to a black hole. Stars going nova. Hooligans running rampant after an interstellar soccer game. But odds are the things that wipe out more advanced species are going to be their own fault. War. Pollution. Overpopulation. A lack of education is all it takes for things to go to hell.

This is the kind of crap I think about after reading the news lately. Maybe our demise just isn't that big of a deal. It probably happens all the time. Just like HPV. Just another mass extinction.

Anyway, I just wanted to say it's been fun guys.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Must be Sunday!

"Jesus loves you."

I seem to get that a lot in recent years. I don't know if it's just the neighborhood that I work or what, but it always seems to be on the weekend. Typically Sunday. And it's always while I'm on my lunch break from work. And it's always, always, always in an aggressive tone.

I'll go out for a meal. I'll go shopping. Just going about my business, relaxing for an hour before heading back to the grind. And out of nowhere some stranger will approach and declare, "Jesus loves you!"

Not, "Jesus loves you," said in a way that makes me feel loved and united in our frail, human experience together. Not in a way that makes me feel my fellow man is compassionate or even concerned over my well being. More like "Jesus loves you" as an alternative to telling me, "Fuck you."

That kind of "Jesus loves you."

"Jesus love you," with the same compassion as one might say, "We should nuke the sight from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

"Jesus loves you," with the sort of generosity that comes from people who refuse to tip their waitress.

"Jesus loves you," like he's drawn a line in the sand and I'm on the opposite side of it.

"Jesus loves you," like I should be waving a white flag.

"Jesus loves you," because it's politer than saying, "You look like the sort of person who deserves eternal damnation in Hell."

I assume this is because of the tattoos on my hands and wrists. Or at least I hope it's that. And more specifically I hope it's not just my face. Because how awful would that be? Somebody's pastor or priest at the end of the ceremony tells his flock, "Go out into the world and spread the good word of God," and these people get behind the wheel of their cars, white knuckle grip, and go cruising around town until they spot... me.

"That asshole. That one right there. He has the face of eternal suffering without relief."

Or maybe I just look like an easy save.

Like maybe they'll say, "Jesus loves you," in that accusatory tone and I'll just suddenly perk up a bit. I'll smile at them and say, "Oh. I was just minding my own business and enjoying this here salad, but now that you've come along I'm really going to rethink my life. What's the address of your church? I'll see you next week! Is there a Saturday service? I can't wait!"

Don't get me wrong. I am absolutely in the midst of a spiritual crisis. Well, maybe not "crisis" as much as "aloofness." I'm not feeling much of any particular belief in my heart and therefore am just ignoring it. I often feel as though my life is without meaning. But I can pretty much guarantee the absolute worst way to save my soul -probably a lot of people's souls- is through this sort of drive by preaching. Saying, "Jesus loves you," like you've been waiting in the bushes and are about to mug me isn't the most effective method of delivering that message.

In fact, you'd probably have much better luck if I happen to see you buying a stranger lunch. Or spending time with your kids. Recycling is always a good one. I love when people do what they can to protect and preserve the planet their lord has created for them. Plant something. Adopting a pet is great. Or bake some cookies and just give them to a friend, neighbor, or even the cashiers in the stores and restaurants who have to work on this lovely you're enjoying. Have a food or clothing drive. Take the time to get to know somebody you've never met. Bonus points if they're from another ethnicity or culture. Just show me you're a good person trying to form a good community. That's spreading the word. That's making a difference. That's just living a fruitful life. One thing I've always said is that I've never once felt God's presence in a church. Whatever I feel, spiritual or otherwise, it's in the individual. It's in the heart and nature of the person.

Alternatively, I suppose you could try kidnapping me. You know, burlap sack over the head. Hands bound. Throw me into your church basement for a few weeks with little food and water. Just a bucket to piss in. Ominous voices reading pages from The Bible outside my cell door but for some reason they refuse to speak directly to me. It might take me a few days to come around, and I'm not too sure what will be in my heart apart from fear, but once I've determined just how committed you are to your cause, I'll definitely become more willing to comply.

Either way it's significantly better than "Jesus loves you!" like you'd rather be saying it with a baseball bat.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Rambling on beliefs

I was responding to an email discussing beliefs and the afterlife. I haven't updated my blog in forever, so I figured I should probably post this rambling online. Wrong an incoherent as I most certainly am, I should make a point to upload these little states of mind. Feel free to tell me what an idiot I am in the comments below.

Anyway, here's my response to a question. Essentially "What's wrong with having beliefs?" on the subject of the afterlife.

I don't think it hurts to believe in anything. I mean, I do think people get carried away in their beliefs and it hinders them a ton. Bigot bible thumpers. Second amendment maniacs. ISIS. KKK. Nazis. People who think pickles taste good. You look at what people believe and how they use those beliefs and a lot of the time nothing good comes from it. People totally and completely lose themselves and wrap their hearts in stuff that's in all probability wrong. It's not the simple belief, I think. Maybe it's believing without questioning that gets me. Like how me and some stereotype in Texas can live in the same country but our comprehension of what it is to be an American is so vastly different. But that makes it hard to find a path for myself. I mean, who the fuck am I to believe in something when I clearly look down on so very many misguided hearts? Who the fuck am I to say anything is right when I so freely challenge the incorrect beliefs of billions of other people? Even if somebody out there has the right answer, how the fuck is anybody supposed to distinguish it beneath all the piles and piles of bullshit? It's not easy. And you're right. This is my fears talking. Maybe just another wall I've built. I see what people do with their beliefs so I struggle to allow myself any. Something like that? I don't know. At the same time, I know that Teemo, Franny, you, and everyone else is an absolute miracle made up of the utmost impossible set of circumstances. Life itself. The stars, moons, planets. The fact that all of this started a mixture of basic elements, atoms and molecules, and took to self replicating forms based on energy levels, gravity, accretion, heat, hydration and such simple, simple little principles. Carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur. All mashed up to make self replicating RNA and DNA, and develop into increasingly complex structures. A bamboo plant and human being are made of a slightly different combination of the exact same stuff. On a chemical level I'm virtually identical to Donald Drumpf and couldn't be more far apart in every other sense. How the fuck can somebody not appreciate how much we are like individual snowflakes? To quote a song I like by Nahko, "I am a miracle. Made up of particles." The mind alone. The fact that our core functions as living beings beyond keeping ourselves alive is to observe and experience our existence should be sufficient evidence of a continued existence in some form beyond what we are now. The capacity for belief and wonderment are not at all necessary for survival but none of this would be possible without that. But every thing, every single little tiny thing happens for a reason. From your migraines to wind patterns to why certain bugs pollinate certain flowers. As awful as some of it is, everything exists in a perfect moment, at a perfect balance. That doesn't just happen. That's not an accident. There absolutely has to be a reason we interpret our existence to every conceivable and often wrong truth while experiencing an infinite gambit of beautiful and terrible possibilities. Shit. With computers and burgeoning AI we know that a mind and intelligence are perfectly possible without being tied to functions of life. So to say that a mind or soul can exist outside of life is perfectly reasonable. The form is currently impossible to comprehend. But we know data can be conducted via energy through space and transported. It's how we're discussing this right now. What is the mind but a collection of data? Energy cannot be destroyed but can take on other forms. And we run on energy. We know all of this stuff. We know so very, very much about our existence. And the more we learn the more we realize we only comprehend about 1% of our existence. For everything we're right about, we're wrong about so much more. To say we stop existing after our bodies expire is a little too foolishly certain. To say we're here at random without some form of intelligent design is naive. It's just that, you look at all this, you look at everything we do understand under the magnifying glass of everything we don't understand, and to say, "I believe in something with all my heart!" feels so small. Whether it's Heaven or nothing. Especially when those beliefs were made thousands of years ago by bigger idiots than us. I see and understand enough to know that an existence beyond our observable universe is certainly possible. I think our capacity to learn, grow, and experience shows function beyond survival. If somebody asks, "Why are we here?" The only answer that makes any sense to me is simply to be here. To experience this. To be wrong or right. To discover. To love, hate, enjoy each other. To grow ourselves. To grow together. To continue to be more than we were yesterday. To climb and stumble. To tend to, hurt, wonder, gaze upon, and question. To live. All of this, every bit of it is just as important to experience being hungry or tired. Physical sensations. We know that all behavior, all action, every single event occurs for a reason. So "Why are we here?" To do all these things seems reason enough. To what end though is the question I can't answer. And I just don't have it in me to place my faith in a belief that's probably wrong. It's not at all wrong to believe. We have that, we do that for countless reasons. And sometimes I can let myself go enough to feel the core reason we believe is because there is indeed something to believe in. Something in that vastness of shit we can't possibly comprehend. I guess I have no real way of knowing when I'm holding myself back and when I'm throwing myself forward. It's all so much and I always feel so incredibly small. I feel like I'm always wrong and terrible, but sometimes I take comfort in that. Like in some ways it's healthier than being someone who puts so much faith in the certainty of being right all the time. I think it stunts me from bridging that gap though. That willingness to look into the vast unknown and attach an absolutely certain belief to it. Does something more happen when we die? There are enough indicators in all the places we're not looking for it to say, "Yeah. There's probably something more to us than this moment." Can I comprehend what it is? No. Can I put any certainty of beliefs into it? No. Should I even be looking for a greater miracle than the fact that I have the privilege of existing against all odds in this, the absolute impossible? Fuck, that makes me feel like an asshole.

Just a few random thoughts.

People always look for ways to see the grass as greener. This seems like an incredible oversight when you take a moment to realize, "Holy shit! There is fucking grass!"

I read a thing recently discussing evolution in The Bible. Jesus was considered to be tall at the time, and him and I were the same height when I was ten. For some reason this got me thinking about how a fish will grow to fit his environment. Any archaeological site of past civilizations will show you that people are getting bigger over the ages. We're still so tiny, but we're also currently trying to extend our environment to Mars and beyond. Dumb thoughts. But fun to play with.

Anyway, I know I'm full of contradiction and hypocrisy. I'm just trying (and probably failing) to illustrate why it's so hard for me to put faith into something. Why I don't think it's wrong to believe in something but why doing so on such a grand scale is too much for me. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it. I wish I could. I feel insane most of the time without it. I know I have a hole in my heart because of it. But I suppose I can't fill it until I've exhausted every reason as to why it's there in the first place. Hopefully there's some little thread of logic in my incoherent rambling.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Necromantica: Reading Trailer

A haunted forest.
A killer escaping justice.
So begins the apocalypse.

$2.99 ebook available at

$7.99 paperback available at

Check out reviews and ratings on Amazon and Goodreads.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Vixen. Tease. Oh your siren song.

I'll admit it. I'm a bit obsessed.

While all of you are out chasing down Pokémon in the streets, I have my own fixation.

Everybody knows how this goes. Everybody knows this feeling.

I catch myself staring. Gawking. I'm finding dumb little excuses to walk by again. And again. I smile. Give glances. I act like I'm not interested and not paying attention but oh my god all I can do is pay attention.

Why am I being so coy? The longer I wait the worse it pangs me. I know in my heart this won't lead anywhere good. I've been there, right there, so very many times before and every single time amounted to nothing. Just passing through. Slam. Bam. Thank you, ma'am. But when it's forbidden? How can anybody expect me to control myself when going inside is forbidden?

You know you've got it bad when you can't help but take a picture. Why would I do such a stupid thing? It's nothing real. Nothing tangible. But I still took a picture. There it is. Right in front of me. Just waiting for me to grab hold, to capture it. If for no other reason than to stew my own sickness.

It's not so much that they walled off that part of my store. It's not even the door. But the sign? My god, the sign!


It doesn't. I know it doesn't. Nothing leads to nowhere. Why would it lead nowhere? But then again why wouldn't it? Everybody always says my life is getting me nowhere. For a long time, whenever I look in the mirror I can feel myself at its cusp. Wandering aimlessly, lost in my phone, hoping to catch hold of things that never existed. And there it is. Right in front of me. Everywhere I've been headed. And as long as I never open that door that's exactly where it's taking me. Nowhere.

It's such a tease. The way it makes you thirst for not thirsting. God I want it. I want so little, so bad.

There's a funny thing about getting nowhere. You can step toward it, chasing it all around, pining for all the things you didn't think it was. Or just not step at all. Either route will you get you there.

Yep. I'm definitely in the middle now.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Literally a bunch of Snapchats of me eating fries

My apologies to my Snapchat followers. Sometimes I just don't know what else to say...

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine snapchats

My brothers talked me into trying Snapchat a while back. I can't say exactly what it was that won me over.

"See, we can send quick pics and videos to each other."

Of course we can. We all own smartphones.

"But these delete after twenty-four hours."

I can just delete the stuff you send me that isn't worth keeping. Also, if I find something interesting I can already tweet it, Vine it, Facebook it, pinterest it, blog it, YouTube it, or just text message it to you.

"Trust us. It's great. I mean, except for some reason somebody sends an occasional dump snap. But apart from that it's great."

What's a dump snap?

"...Anyway, you should totally get Snapchat!"

So despite already being super saturated in social media, I downloaded Snapchat. I was right to think there's no real point to it. In fact I'd say having a point defeats it's purpose. It's just one more dumb thing to dick around with. For example, here's my yesterday:

At least I finally figured out a use for emoji.