Monday, February 27, 2012

"Dead Things;" A new short story featured in THE GATE 2.

I know it's been a while since you've seen some new writing from me, but now's your chance to read a new short story of mine. I was lucky enough to be included in a new short story collect, THE GATE 2: 13 Tales of Isolation and Despair.

I was thrilled when Robert asked me to be a part of his new collection, especially when you look at the names of all of the other authors who are also featured. It's an honor to be included with them. Authors I've looked up, and people I can call my friends.

If you've read my short story collection IN DECLINE, then I think you'll really enjoy this brand new story of mine. It's called, "Dead Things." It's about a father and his son trying to calm down a crazy old woman who is convinced zombies are invading their town. And on their journey, Dwight is forced to re-visit old and painful memories of the past.

I'm really proud to be a part of this collection. I hope you guys will check it out.  Click here to go to the Amazon product page.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

If I could go back in time... (I'd find my high school self and smack the sh** outta him!)

This is actually inspired by a post that Amanda Hocking did where she wrote a letter to her high school self. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend that you do. Click here to go to her blog.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this, but high school wasn't a picnic by any means.

From the very first day, I knew I was in trouble. And it was just my luck, being that I loved my last year at junior high. When I got to Carl Sandburg High School, it felt like a different world--and not in a good way. By no means am I trashing the school. Like I said, I think a lot of us had a hard time at whatever high school we wound up at.

I was depressed during most of my time there, which made me an easy target for bullies. Can't say that I really blame them in the end, because I certainly didn't make things any better, and I gave them way too much easy ammo to use. When I was a freshman, I started writing these really terrible, emo poems--I don't even think I should call them poems, as I have no desire to insult the world of poetry. When people found out I was writing them, they asked to see them and for some reason I got it stuck in my head that this was a good thing. People were paying attention to me. So I started writing more, and really cranked up the depression-suicide watch/tone on them--not because I was suicidal in any way, but because it was getting me attention.

I didn't realize at the time it was very, very negative attention. Again, I made myself an easy target for people looking to do some damage to any little bit of self-esteem I might've had.

There were times where I really didn't think I was going to make it. I wondered how it was possible that each day that went by seemed to only get worse and worse. I didn't realize until long after I graduated that it was really me who made the experience even more horrid.

When I was in high school, I was in survival mode. I know I could've handled myself better, and did things in a more mature manner, but I was just trying to make it out in one piece. Long time friendships were ruined because I couldn't act like a fucking mature human being. Then again, I was in high school... were any of us mature?

I'm very happy to say that I am in no way the same person I was back then. I've done a lot of growing up. Life is much happier and I'm accomplishing a lot more than I thought I ever would at my age.

I couldn't go to my high school reunion, because I was convinced that the people I went to high school with would think I was the same person. That thought scared the living shit out of me, so I figured it'd be better if I stayed away. I kind of regret doing so, because I guess there were a few people who were looking forward to seeing me again. I was afraid of reliving high school.

There are times where I wished I could go back in time and smack the living crap out of my high school self. Tell him to man up and get over it. Things wouldn't always be this bad. There was light at the end of the very dark and what seemed to be a never-ending tunnel.

Then again, maybe if I did act differently back then, I wouldn't be the same man that I am today. Maybe I couldn't write things like IN DECLINE if I didn't go through some really dark and troubled times. Maybe I wouldn't be as mature about things right now if I didn't go through my emo-immature phases back then.

Thank God there was no Facebook or Myspace when I was in high school... otherwise I'd be fucked.

To my friends back in high school who have found me on Facebook, I'm sorry if I kept my distance from you. I wasn't trying to avoid any of you. I just have a hard time re-connecting with people from my past, especially if they knew the kind of person I was back in high school. It's something I should get over, and hopefully one of these days I will.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Total Bummer

(note: I took the post title from a NOFX song, because I really had no idea what to title this thing)

I found out that one of my childhood friends took his own life back in December, and I found out about it only a few days ago. Came as a complete shock. I know that we kinda grew apart once we hit high school, but we were never on bad terms or anything. A lot of the people you end up being friends with in grade school and junior high, you kind of go different ways once you hit high school for whatever reason.

I was shocked, hurt, and bummed when I found out.

He friend requested me about two years ago on Facebook, and we exchanged some posts back and forth. He was living in Florida at the time, so it wasn't like we could go and hang out like back in the old days. Still, I wished I had a chance to talk to him more even though I know that nothing would've changed the outcome. He didn't make any of his pain public. Even when we were growing up, I never saw that side of him.

Miss you, buddy. Sorry you had to leave, and sorry you had to leave the way you did. I can't pretend to know what you were going through, or know what was in your head when you made that final decision. Wished there could've been another way, but then again, don't we all?