Monday, July 28, 2014


Job searching is... hard. And frustrating. There are many ways I could describe this process, but these seem the most fitting.

I supposed it wouldn't be as difficult if I had more direct professional experience in the area where I am trying to find employment, but, really, I am not getting very many responses, in general, so it really makes me second-guess myself and my skills, knowledge, and intelligence... Am I just truly not qualified for these jobs? Am I just destined to work whatever crappy job comes along? What the hell am I not doing that I need to do? What am I doing that I shouldn't be?

Sometimes I just think it's the system, and that it is set up against me, since I don't know anybody, and I didn't grow up anywhere particularly special. But maybe that's just an excuse. Maybe I am not trying hard enough, or maybe I need to focus my search in a different particular area.

But through all of my schooling, I have never been led to believe anything but that I am a capable, talented writer. I have always seemed to have a natural knack for it, and I have always been willing to put in the work to further develop my skills. I have never been discouraged away from writing--indeed, quite the opposite. Particularly in my journalism and my creative writing classes, but also in many of my English classes, and even by professors who have reputations at being tough, I have been encouraged to keep at it.  

Maybe I am just not patient. Maybe it just takes more time. Maybe I need more schooling yet. I don't know. I am not going to give up. I don't know if I am even capable of it. I suppose that's why I have a white whale tattooed on my forearm.

Friday, July 11, 2014

In An Alternate Universe, About Now...

The Riot of 2014

It was the collective impulse. As soon as the shock started to wear off, the people camped outside the gates started storming it, Bastille-like, and soon, his mansion was on fire. Nearby, all around the area, groups started to gather, and quickly they became one giant, pulsating mass. “Off with their heads,” the blob cried, “off with their heads!” and the ringing of the guillotine echoed all the way to Sandusky. Once again, the river was burning.


Distractions are great, but 
our problems are greater.
We attempt to escape from 
them, but they are right 
around the corner, always 
on our scent, on our trail, 
just waiting for an  opportunity 
to pounce on us and 
bring us down, begging.

We attempt to make ourselves 
oblivious. We care about things 
just so they will mentally lift us 
out of harm's way--even though 
it is only in our minds and our 
problems are still ever present, 
haunting us, giving us that
 tightening in our chests. 

We are out of breath, lost in 
romances of endless races 
and places that are as they 
seem on the surface.

Maybe if we follow far enough
 into these fantasies we will 
finally escape, but we haven't yet. 
Maybe we just have to keep 
trying, to keep pushing,  to keep 
moving forward, but it is all more 
in our heads that we realize.

Society, culture, religion... It is all 
there to fill our time while we are 
on this dusty rock--whatever 
it is, whoever we are.

Maybe these things aren't 
distractions, after all. 

Maybe they are lenses 
from which we view the world, 
and no one is any more 
right or wrong than any other. 

For as much as we are 
sure of, we are unsure. 

For as much as we 
know, we don't know. 

Can it ever be 
other than that?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Out in the Garage now for sale as eBook

The second (and final) edition of Out in the Garage is now for sale at Smashwords, and pending review, will be for sale shortly at Amazon, where it is now also for sale in print. The recommended price is $1.99 for the eBook edition is $1.99, and $6.99 for the print edition--although Amazon currently has it listen for $6.29.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independent's Day!

It's Independence Day, but it is also, for all intents and purposes, Independent's Day, as well--since I am indeed an indie author!

The second (and final) edition of my first novel, Out in the Garage, is now out for sale on Create Space! Right now it is in paperback only, but, in the next day or two, it will appear in both print and digital formats in other online markets. Perhaps I will eventually get it distributed to some indie bookstores locally, as well.

This, as I have said, is the final edition of my first novel. How it has turned out is how it is going to be from now to the end of time. I am happy and excited, and I believe it is at its best ever, and I hope people will give it a chance, since the changes are a direct result of feedback that I have received from people I trust. It has come a long way in the past ten years, and I am glad to be moving on to the next project, which is really already under way--it is now, officially, though.

To make sure I don't change my mind and try to go back or whatever, I am moving straight into the next one, diving in head first. It is a much different book, in both the story itself and in the way I am coming at it. The first one I just started writing without any plan, and this one I have planned very carefully. We'll see how this helps. My goal to to be publishing it this time next year, which I believe is entirely reasonable. I have learned a lot and I am going to hopefully demonstrate it with this project.

I am not going to specifically state which project I have decided to pick up and get under way. As you know, I have a huge backlog of ideas from which to choose--although, some are further along than others. It will be kind of a surprise  to everyone when I announce which one, which will be much closer to the time that it is finished. For now, I will simply refer to it as novel #2.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Basic Human Rights Vs. Corporate Profits

While I understand the outrage about the Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, I am not surprised by the decision, and neither should anybody else be surprised, either. Some of justices have a clear corporate agenda, and whenever it comes down to limiting or extending corporations' rights, they are probably going to extend them. I believe economist and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has the right idea: it is time for the people of the US to take a serious look at the constitution in order to clearly define that corporations are not people, and that spending money is not a form of speech. There are other serious problems that also need to be addressed, so perhaps it is time to go through the constitution and rewrite and modernize it. It is the surest way to guarantee everyone basic rights, which are becoming eroded as we sink further into oligarchy.

In the Constitution, there should be provisions that clearly define and guarantee basic human rights so that everyone has access to food, water, shelter, and healthcare. How can anyone enjoy the Declaration of Independence's "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" if s/he is struggling merely to exist? By ensuring these rights in the constitution, it will ensure that people will have access to meet their basic survival needs and will limit corporation and government interference with meeting those needs. Corporations will always find a way to make money, and it should not be more important than ensuring that everyone has their basic needs met. If people want luxuries, then they can find ways to make money to afford those luxuries, but these basic rights, including healthcare, are not luxuries, and should not be weighed against corporate profits, because in our current system, corporate profits seem to win out, every time.

I know the idea of universal healthcare is scary--mostly because of reactionary propaganda from corporate and private interests--but it is the right thing for everybody.  Everyone deserves access to healthcare, and no one should have to go into debt just to get the care that they need. Perhaps we can base our healthcare system more on the French system, which has been considered the number one healthcare system in the world by the World Health Organization since 2000. This peer-reviewed article by Dr.Victor G. Rodwin describes the French system as a "combin[ation] [of] universal coverage with a public–private mix of hospital and ambulatory care." The article goes on to state: "In France, the commitment to universal coverage is accepted by the principal political parties and justified on grounds of solidarity—the notion that there should be mutual aid and cooperation between the sick and the well, the active and the inactive, and that health insurance should be financed on the basis of ability to pay, not actuarial risk." In other words, the French don't leave their sick behind, they help them get the care that the need rather than just let them get sicker, or die. While the French system isn't perfect, it is better than the one that we have. It attempts to strike a balance between public need and private interests, which is what, ideally, a government institution should do.

Companies such as Hobby Lobby should not be able to dictate what healthcare coverage people can and cannot get. Corporate and business interests need to be limited, since their primary concern is not for their employees, or even for their customers, but instead it is for making a profit. As long as the people who own a stake in the company are making the amount of money that they feel they deserve, that's all that matters. That is not to say that corporations shouldn't exist, it just means that there should be more options and opportunities for people to survive outside of them. We can have a democracy, and capitalism, for that matter, and limit corporations--especially when they have an undue influence on how society functions at the detriment to a growing segment of the population. Not every facet of society needs to be for profit.

Changes that benefit society as a whole are not going to happen unless our social framework is restructured so that it supports social progress. The constitution was not intended as the be-all, end-all document for all of time, as is evidenced by the fact that you can make changes to it. Instead, it was intended as a model from which to base a workable social framework, and if that framework is no longer supporting everyone, it needs to be extended. Let us not continue to keep making the same mistakes: let's guarantee all rights for all people and not just a select minority who can afford it.