The Return of Shane Staley of Darkfuse, Delirium Books, and now IndieMuse

UPDATE: This post will be updated with new information as I uncover it. You can find all new info at the bottom of the post.

The purpose of this post is to warn authors, reviewers, and readers in general of the return of a man who has a well-documented history of scamming customers and authors.

You can read my original post that describes the timeline of events concerning my experience with Darkfuse here:

https://edwardlorn.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/dear-shane-staley-go-fuck-yourself/

Been a long time since I posted here but I feel it’s still the best place to collect public data, so here we are. Today we’re talking about the return of douchebag extraordinaire, Shane Staley. I will link to the video piece I did on his resurfacing act, but I also have new information and proof I need to post. So first, this is his Facebook post about his return.

Screenshot captured from Facebook from a public post.

I have no idea who would ever wanna work with this guy after he drove Delirium Books AND Darkfuse into the ground, but here we are. I was first alerted to Shane’s return by an anonymous source through DMs on Twitter. Then Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror, co-owner of the Night Worms subscription box) forwarded to me this email.

Email to Sadie Hartmann, co-owner of Night Worms. Used with permission.

I couldn’t believe the audacity of this man. Not only has he returned, but he’s acting like he didn’t steal thousands of dollars from customers and deny numerous authors, myself included, their earned royalties. He’s not even trying to hide. His picture and name are splattered all over IndieMuse and his personal website, Staley and Associates. You can find those links below:

IndieMuse: https://www.myindiemuse.com/about-us/

Staley and Associates: https://www.staleyandassociates.com/

All of this spurred me into creating a video documenting his return that should serve as a warning to my audience and anyone who might come in contact with Shane Staley. You can watch the video here.

REVIEWERS AND AUTHORS BEWARE! | Shane Staley | IndieMuse | Darkfuse

Finally, and most importantly (for me, anyway), this asshole had the audacity to post the book he never paid me royalties for on his new website as a “Latest Book Project”. FAIRY LIGHTS is no longer available, and hasn’t been available since August 2017, when Darkfuse went bankrupt, so “Latest Book Projects” my fuckin ass. And just in case he removes it, here’s a screenshot for posterity.

Image taken from the homepage of staleyandassociates.com This image is currently public.

Brian Keene will be posting about this tomorrow, and Sadie Hartmann has already emailed her crew, I believe, but this post needs to be shared far and wide. Do not allow this man to screw over even more people.

Thank you,

E.

UPDATE 10/15/2020, 4:18pm CST: I was sent this email from an anonymous source. This is the text of an email Shane Staley is sending out to authors he screwed out of their royalties.

Here’s the whole message verbatim, if Brian Keene hasn’t seen it, which he probably has. Also, don’t die. Love you – An Update To DarkFuse Authors I hope you’re doing well and I wanted to touch base with you as a former author of mine. After DarkFuse was forced to close its doors, I’ve spent the last 2 years on hiatus as a publisher, which has allowed me to withdraw myself for clarity purposes. The bankruptcy hit me hard, as I lost an entire property and home, which went back to settling debts. These debts have all been settled, though I realize some authors didn’t get reimbursed for missed royalties in 2017 as they didn’t pursue claims with the bankruptcy court, which I still feel horribly about. For transparency sake: DarkFuse owed just under $6,000 in total royalties to 150 combined authors (on average, $40 to each author) and only 1 partial missed royalty period in which we returned rights to every author immediately after making the decision the company could no longer continue. In regards to my publishing history, besides that single blip on a 20+ year map, I was what many authors considered the best in the business when it came to timely payments and advances. I paid through my companies a total into the millions of dollars, all to independent authors. And I know authors can attest to this, as I’ve dealt with many of you over a long period of time. The end of DarkFuse was unfortunate, but, in hindsight, I feel really good about what it accomplished and learned from its failure: I was trying to force the market to grow through investing too much with little returns in many areas. These past two years have allowed me to disconnect from the business and get back to loving the genre and books again. Instead of being frustrated with business dealings and the industry, I’ve now been able to really embrace my history as an award-winning publisher with Delirium Books and DarkFuse and really wrap my head around the many writing careers I was fortunate to be a small part of in launching. I’ve finally decided to invest time again back in the industry we share, to continue what I started: helping to launch promising careers. I’m launching IndieMuse on 1/31/21. This, however, will NOT be a return back to publishing books and eBooks. With my knowledge and experience in the genre and publishing at the independent level, and really still having a great passion to promote talented authors such as yourself, I’ve decided to create a site that promotes the works of selected independent authors from multiple genres. This is NOT an author-has-to-pay-for-promotion site. It’s free promotion for authors we select. Our revenue stream will be generated from ad revenue (affiliation with Amazon) and ad sales, though this is something we’ll likely expand to other areas such as time goes on. I’ve begun reaching out to “hire” staff for the 2021 year. This will include book reviewers, talent curators, and content writers. The hiring is basically an internship (trial) for possible staff positions to begin in 2022. Independent authors can submit their profiles now: https://myindiemuse.com/authors-start-here/…. This will introduce you to our curation staff for possible future promotions of your work. Everything at IndieMuse goes through a curation process before it gets to me, but if you’re an author I’ve published before, obviously I think highly of your work and you’ll make it through the process just fine!

Winking face

In other words, you’ll get promoted here. Also, if you know book reviewers…they can inquire about having their reviews syndicated by reaching out to us at: https://myindiemuse.com/contact-us/ Furthermore, during this hiatus, I’ve been fortunate enough to launch a very successful tennis academy, which is now a prime source of income for me. As it’s a junior academy, it’s still mostly in operations only during the summers (June-July) which allows me for a great deal of time to invest back into online publishing endeavors via IndieMuse. Also, my complete professional publishing portfolio is being put online, which will (or already does) feature our work together! You can check it out at: https://staleyandassociates.com So I wanted to touch base and give you an update of potential news that may interest you. Hopefully, we can work together with this new endeavor to help promote your work. If not, I understand that as well. Take care! http://myindiemuse.comhttp://myindiemuse.com

UPDATE: 10/15/2020, 4:23pm CST: Adding this bit of information from a former customer of Shane’s.

This is a public post.

UPDATE 4/16/2020, 8:30am CST

Statement from Brian Keene:

https://www.briankeene.com/home/d97k9gtesmanzy6mc0lfhmiqbvvsem

My Mother

I don’t have time to edit this but I wanted to get it posted before Mom’s procedure tomorrow. Please excuse any errors.

Last week my mother called me shortly after two in the morning to tell me she wasn’t feeling right. Every time she turned her head, she got unbearably dizzy and nauseated. She lives on my property, so I walked over to check on her. Her blood pressure was elevated, but her heart rate was fine. We tried orthostatic blood pressures (lying, sitting, standing) and nothing changed, which is a good sign. Still, she felt awful, so I called 911. Better safe than sorry. The EMTs who arrived said she was likely experiencing vertigo. They asked her if she wanted to be taken to the emergency room and she declined. If it was just vertigo, she’d be fine, she thought. They left, I helped her to bed and went home.

The next morning, she had to be up at my sister’s house to get my sister’s grandkids on the bus. She drove over, but when she got there, her vertigo seemingly returned. She called me, terrified, and I told her to call 911. The same two EMTs from the night before arrived, but this time, per my request, they took her to the emergency room. A few hours later, her cardiologist decided it would be a good idea to have a heart catherization. The heart cath found an 80% blockage in one of the arteries that feeds blood to the heart, as well as a slightly calcified valve. They placed a stent to fix the blockage, but left the valve because the risk of open-heart surgery outweighed the benefits of fixing it. She was admitted to the floor. My sister and I were told she was stable, so we went home. The next afternoon, she was discharged, and my sister brought her home. We ordered pizza, and we ate together, as a family, joking and reliving the incident, which we thought had come to an end.

After Mom finished her pizza, she asked me to take her to the bathroom. I walked her down the hall and got her settled on the toilet, and then I closed the door behind me and waited in the hallway to give her privacy.

Not long after I closed the door, less than ten seconds later, I heard what sounded like a pig snorting. I opened the bathroom door to check on her and she was slumped over, propped up against the sink, eyes bugging out of her head, snorting like a feral hog. I sat her up, placed a hand on either side of her head, and begged her to talk to me. She came to a bit but wouldn’t meet my eyes. She started huffing an puffing, as if she couldn’t catch her breath, and kept repeating three words: “This is it.”

When I took Mom’s pulse it was only thirty. I screamed for Chelle to call 911 while I tried to keep Mom conscious. I’m not sure how long it took the EMTs to arrive, but of course it felt like forever. Mom was lucid for most of it, but whenever she talked, her tone was ominous. She said things like, “Jesus, let this end,” and “I don’t want to do this anymore.”  When the EMTs arrived, it was the same two guys who had come the last two times. As they unpacked their equipment and hooked her up to their machines, they were both in agreement that she had an episode of vasovagal syncope, where the body shuts down due to certain triggers, like severe pain. Their tone was light and jovial, and they joked that, although this might seem scary, she’d be fine.

Once they had her all hooked up, they ran an EKG, and their attitudes changed drastically. One of them kept saying, “Third degree heart block,” while the other went outside to call for lifting and transportation help. The bathroom in which Mom was having her episode was off a narrow hallway, and they were going to have to carry her out into the hall so they could place her on a tarp. Mom was declining quickly at this point, so they moved forward with moving her without waiting on help. They managed to get her down the rickety back steps and onto their stretcher just as the second ambulance and an off-duty volunteer firefighter in a red pickup showed up.

At some point while they were getting her outside, her heart stopped. They used a device called an AED to provide external stimulation to her heart as they loaded her onto the ambulance.

By this time, my sister had arrived, so she and I followed the ambulance to the hospital. We waited in the emergency room for an hour before finally checking with the front desk for information about Mom’s condition. One of the ladies behind the desk took us to an empty room and told us that the doctor would be in to talk to us about Mom. We were sure the news would be that Mom had passed. Why else would they pull us off to the side? We paced around this room for forty-five minutes before I finally went looking for someone who knew what was going on.

They’d forgotten about us. Mom wasn’t dead, but she wasn’t doing well either. She’d been taken for a second emergency heart cath, and no one knew how long she’d be in there, so they led us to CCU (critical care unit) and told us to wait for news. Another hour passed. And then another. I called the operator. All the operator could tell me was that she was still in the operating room and that she’d call me back when she knew more.

Finally one of the CCU nurses came out and told us that Mom was stable and being transferred from the OR to CCU, and she’d let us back once Mom was settled. Two Code 88s (hospital code for cardiac arrest) were called while we were waiting. My sister and I were sure it was Mom. It wasn’t. Stephanie (the CCU nurse) came and got us after about thirty minutes and allowed us to see Mom.

Mom looked like a hollow shell of her former self. There was no one home. I’ve seen a lot of dead bodies in my time, and even more people in a vegetative state, and that’s what Mom looked like. Every ounce of hope I had left disappeared.

Third degree heart block, as it’s been explained to me, is when the upper and lower parts of the heart fail to work together. A normal beating heart is in what’s called a Sinus Rhythm. To achieve a normal sinus rhythm on Mom, they had to place an external temporary pacemaker. The pacemaker was set to 60 beats per minute. If Mom’s heart dropped below that, the pacemaker would send an electric pulse into her heart, forcing it to act properly. On top of that, they had intubated her for the heart cath and had decided to keep the tube in place until morning because her oxygen saturation wasn’t great, registering around eighty. Because she was still intubated, they would keep her sedated until they deemed fit to ween her off the tube.

She was stable. There was nothing else my sister and I could do, and Mom seemed to be in good hands, so we headed home to rest and regroup. We weren’t home more than an hour before Stephanie called us. They’d attempted to take Mom to CT but Mom’s heart stopped before they could load her into the machine. We needed to come back to the hospital right away. Mom was unresponsive, and it was assumed she wouldn’t last the night.

I’m a momma’s boy. I make no allusions otherwise. All throughout my life my mother’s been by my side, through thick and thin, and this news obviously crushed me. My sister and I returned to the hospital, expecting the absolute worst, and that’s pretty much what we received. Like Stephanie had said, Mom was unresponsive. Her hands and feet were ice cold, and there was zero sign of life despite the rise and fall of her chest as the intubation did its job.

Years and years ago, after my grandmother lingered for days on end after a massive stroke, my mother drew up a living will. Her wish was to be a DNR (do not resuscitate) if she were ever to be diagnosed with a terminal disease, or suffered a debilitating sickness/accident that left her in a vegetative state. Per Mom’s request, my sister and I, along with our oldest sister who now lives in Houston, Texas, decided that if Mom coded again, we had no other choice but to let her go.

I told my mother that if she needed to go, she should go, that we would be all right. It would be hard, but we’d make it. I kissed her forehead and told her goodbye. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. That’s not hyperbole. No exaggeration. I felt like I was killing her myself. I’ll never forgive myself for that.

Mom’s eyes fluttered open for a brief second and she squeezed my hand. In my shock, I started screaming for the nurse. Stephanie rushed in to do a response test on Mom’s eyes. The previous one had come up negative, no pupil dilation, but now her pupils were dilating. She was responding, albeit poorly, to stimulus. Stephanie called the cardiologist’s assistant (Janet) and Janet came to check Mom out. Again, Mom responded, admittedly slowly and sluggishly, but she was responding. They stopped the sedation and gave Mom a chance to wake up. She drifted in and out, responding less and less, and we thought for sure her responsiveness had been a fluke. For the second time in less than five hours, I prepared for the worse.

After a time, my sister and I signed the DNR paperwork. It had become more and more apparent that the light had simply shone brightest just before going out, and that our moment of promise was nothing more than Mom giving life one final push. The PA, Janet, said Mom had already exceeded their expectations, and she didn’t expect much else. It was only a matter of time.

My mother is an incredibly stubborn individual. She’s where I get my drive from. Her stubbornness is likely what’s kept her alive all this time. She’s still going. It’s been two days since her last code, but her heart hasn’t stopped since we signed that DNR paperwork. Whether or not it’s her time, no one can say for sure, but she’s just stubborn enough to keep fighting.

Yesterday morning, she reentered sinus rhythm for the first time since she ate pizza with us. They began weening her from the tube that afternoon. She’s currently at 50% oxygen through the tube, and her O2 sat is 100%. She’s going for a permanent pacemaker placement today at 2pm, and if everything goes well, she’ll be taken off intubation. Nowhere near out of the woods yet, but it’s progress, and progress is better than the alternative.

So that’s where we’re at. Nothing is for sure, but that’s life on a normal day. I’m playing the role of cynical optimist, expecting the worst but hoping for the best, because I can’t allow myself to get my hopes too high.

My sisters and I do not get along. I’m the black sheep of the family, the heathen to their Christian extremism, so I was essentially alone while it was just me and my middle sister at the hospital that first night. Because of this, I retreated to Twitter to give status updates. My friends, fans, and followers were my rock that night (Chelle was at home comforting the kids, although I knew she would’ve preferred to be by my side, especially since she knows that my relationship with my sister is pretty terrible) and I will be forever grateful to everyone who was there for me. One of my best friends on the planet, Nettie, was there every step of the way, listening to me vent and keeping me sane. I love you, Nettles. I owe you a hug, and I plan to make good on that as soon as humanly possible.

Thank you to everyone who offered well wishes, as well as everyone who opened their DMs to me. I cannot thank you all enough. There’s still a long road ahead, but I had to write this now, if for no other reason than to compartmentalize my thoughts. I’ve left some minor stuff out, and maybe even screwed up the timeline of other things, but at least it’s out. Writing is how I cope with things, so this is me coping.

I hope my next update will be that Mom’s home and healthy. I don’t expect that to be the case, but I would love for it to go that way. I’m not sure how I’ll react should things go south again but I’m sure it won’t be pretty. Like I said, I’m an unabashed momma’s boy.

Here’s to nothing but good news from here on out.

E.

I Bet You $50 You Can’t Out Write Me…

Can You Out Write Me?

Yesterday I had an idea. I posted to Twitter challenging authors to out write me. The idea is simple:

We both have a week, starting on Monday at 00:01 (12:01am) and ending at 23:59 (11:59pm) on Sunday, to write a short story. If both of us create a readable story in a week, we start all over again. This continues until one of us is unable to finish a readable story in under a week’s time. The loser owes the winner $50 USD. Simple. So here are the rules:

First, what is a readble story? It’s a story with few errors (nothing’s perfect, especially not when your deadline is a week) that is at the very least readable from beginning to end. If the author(s) disagree about something being readable, we’ll ask the readers who’ll be following this contest to judge. The story must have a beginning, middle, and ending. If you write something vague, you must explain the themes and what you were going for to whoever questions you, but the authors and readers must agree that you succeeded before you can move on. No open endings or cliffhangers. You must tell a complete tale. I know “complete” is subjective when it comes to shorts, but an incomplete story is usually glaringly obvious in its incompleteness. There is no word count minimum or maximum, no limit whatsoever.

You must write on Google Docs, and the Doc must be available for the public to watch you write. You will create a new Doc with the starting date as the title (Example: Story 8/12/2019) and make it visible to everyone. You will then share that link on Twitter in response to my own link at the beginning of each week. If you do not have a link created by Monday at 23:59 (11:59pm), you will forfiet that week. Any time you plan on writing throughout the week, you must Tweet that you’ll be live and what time you plan on writing. This is all to ensure everyone involved is playing fairly. All editing will be done publicly, as well, and you must Tweet the times you will be editing.

On that note, to make make sure no one is using old stories, you must pick from the prompts in the responses to this tweet: https://twitter.com/EdwardLorn/status/1160266059783573504?s=20

The prompt should be at the beginning of your story as well. Like this:

Story 8/12/2019

Prompt: Dingo ate my baby!

You have seven full days to write your story. There is no winner unless someone drops out. Whoever drops out owes me $50. I’m your only competition. If you’d like to make bets with others, you may do so on your own time. Whoever knocks me out, wins $50 from me. If there is more than one of you left, I’ll pay each of you $50. We’ll take a week break at the end of every four week cycle. We’ll also ask for new prompts each week so no one can get ahead.

Word of warning, just so I’m completely transparent here: I have been writing every single day since 2012. That’s seven years of putting words down daily without fail. I can usually knock out a short story in a few hours. I do not expect to lose, but stranger things have happened. You will have one chance to double up your stories if you know in advance you won’t be around the next week. You can only do this once. The same is available to me. I want you to win. I’m rooting for you. I simply don’t expect you to.

If we run out of prompts before the next round, no one wins anything, so make sure you’re asking people to provide prompts. You can provide a prompt of your own for other contestants, but you may not use your own prompt. You cannot use a prompt that someone else has already claimed. I will be the last one to choose a prompt.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me, and good luck!

E.

Why Are You Such an Asshole?

Once upon a time, I received my first ever advance review copy in the form of Kristopher Rufty’s Last One Alive, a fun slasher novella with one of the more memorable slashers I’ve come across. I found numerous errors in the book, but I loved the story, so I gave the book five stars and emailed the author to inform him about the errors. I never mentioned the errors in my review.

Fast forward to the week after Last One Alive released. I received an email from Amazon about how I had a response to my first review on their site! I clicked on the link and read the response.

“When are authors goning [sic] to learn that readers know when they swap reviews.” The lack of a question mark was also [sic] so I didn’t answer, you know, because it wasn’t a question.

*giggles*

But in all seriousness, I had no idea what the fuck this user was talking about. I hadn’t swapped reviews with Rufty. I didn’t even know the guy. I’d happened upon his Facebook post offering review copies of his latest book, asked for one in the comments, and he sent me one. To this day, I don’t think he’s ever read a single word of mine.

Another week passed and the hate kept on coming. I was getting regular messages and comments about how I failed to mention how poorly the book had been edited, as if I’d been lying to cover for him. It was my first public review under this name, and my own book hadn’t even come out yet. Bay’s End wouldn’t be out until early 2012. I had “author” as my profession on Facebook, and I didn’t have a Twitter account, but my Goodreads account was brand new and didn’t say anything about me being an author. On my Goodreads review of Last One Alive, someone said, “Why are you hiding that you’re an author?” I never responded. I deleted my personal account, in turn deleting my review on Goodreads, and then I deleted my Amazon review. From that day on, I promised myself I’d always mention even the smallest error in my reviews.

Months went by, my book came out, and I kept right on reviewing. Despite advice from my editor and friends, I continued to review. The more brutally honest I was in my reviews, the more likes I got. The more likes I got, the more books I sold. I was being honest and it was paying off. Years went by and I gained a reputation as someone readers trusted and authors feared. Silly, I know, but to this day I still get comments like, “Thanks for the review! I was kinda worried when I saw you were reading my books…” Or, if the review is negative, I’ll hear about so-and-so complaining about me with one of the many authors whom I’ve been critical of over the years. I don’t mind that, by the way. Seeking solidarity is fine by me.

Anyway, I never wanted this reputation. I never wanted to be “the only honest author,” as someone called me on Twitter last month. (There are a lot of honest authors: Michael Patrick Hicks, the Berhg (probably spelled that wrong), Linda Hilton, Daniel Barnett, Gregor Xane, and numerous others) I don’t want to be feared or even respected. I just want to be able to read and share my opinion without being labeled a bully, or as one slighted author calls me on occassion, a “miserable fat cunt.”.

Am I honest? Yes. Have I personally attacked authors? I’m not proud of it, but yes, in the past I have. (Despite what I say in my review of Jeffrey Ford’s The Twilight Pariah, I have no proof that Paul Tremblay fucks turtles. [I’m chuckling just typing that because I am, indeed, a terrible person]). Satire is no excuse. Fucking turtles is serious business, and I’m sure Tremblay respects all amphibians, whether they be teenaged mutants or otherwise. Some of my most popular reviews have been what some have called “hit pieces”: see my hilarious-albeit-immature reviews of Along Came a Spider, by James Patterson, and Armada, by Ernest Cline. Jerusalem, by Alan Moore, is another such review, although it’s a bit more mature, in tone if not language. I’ve long thought that if the books I read are not entertaining, the review should be. I have crossed the line from time to time, but like Paul Tremblay in the aquarium section of PetSmart, I never meant any harm.

Fine, I’ll stop! Shit, if no one else thinks it’s funny I sure as shit do. Just goddamn imagine a grown-ass man trying to fuck a tiny-ass turtle. I’ll wait…

No? Fine. FINE! I’ll stop…

…you goddamn turtle fucker.

Today’s blog is not a plea to understand or forgive me. This is not me saying I’m going to change my ways, and it certainly is not crowd control. There’s nothing going on (that I’m aware of…) What this blog is is a bit of introspection. I wanted to see if I could pinpoint the moment that I became the Edward Lorn everyone knows and loves/hates, and I feel that I became this hero/monster after that first response to my Last One Alive review on Amazon. Since then, I’ve responded to every author’s inquiry to review each other’s books with “Sorry, I don’t participate in review swaps.” I’ve been unfollowed for doing so, and in some extreme cases I’ve been blocked. Authors are a touchy breed. They’re either totally accepting, or viciously cruel. Rarely do you find anyone in the middle. Even I, depending on what circles you run in, am considered to be one or the other.

But one thing’s for sure. Despite my reputation, (talentless turtle fuckers aside…I kid, I KID!) I’ve only ever been honest. Even that original Rufty review was my sincere opinion, and I wish everyone would check his book out. I’ve never left a negative review in retaliation, or because I was jealous. My reviews have always been my honest personal opinions. For better or worse, I am what I am. Love me or hate me, your opinion of me affects me not at all.

In reading news, I finished So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed and ‘Salem’s Lot. I’m still reading (and loving) Black House with my good friend Angela, and I’m amost done with an ARC of Recursion, by Blake Crouch. I’ll be starting my reread of The Shining this week, and an ARC of The Ditch, by Herman Koch, once I’m done with Recursion. What are y’all reading, and how’ve you been since the last time we spoke? No weight updates today. I have a surprise coming this week and I don’t wanna spoil it.

Take care of one another, and I’ll see you next Monday!

E.

Mad at me? How about you…

Buy all of Paul Tremblay’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Tremblay/e/B001JRTI1K

And Rufty’s: https://www.amazon.com/Last-One-Alive-Kristopher-Rufty-ebook/dp/B00CDQZ8BK/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Last+one+alive+Kristopher+rufty&qid=1559078441&s=gateway&sr=8-2

 

 

 

 

Of Bedrest, Withdrawls, and Recovery

Weekly weigh-in: 322.8. Down two pounds from last week. It isn’t much, but there’s a reason for that. There’s also a silver lining in today’s blog, so hang with me. We’ll get there. This isn’t some pity party, I promise. At least this time there’s a happy ending.

Last Wednesday I woke up, tossed my legs over the edge of the bed, and rolled up using my legs as a counterweight. The momentum helps to keep strain off your back when you’re sitting up. I learned the trick during one of my many stays at in-patient rehab, usually after one of my five different back surgeries. I’ve had to relearn how to walk twice. Anyway, I did everything I was supposed to do while getting up Wednesday morning, and I hadn’t done anything stressful or labor-intensive the day before, but once I stood, it felt as if several claws grabbed onto my back meat and twisted. Excruciating pain dropped me to my knees. Luckily, I didn’t shatter a kneecap, because all three-hundred twenty-two pounds came down on them. I screamed like a banshee in a bear trap. Chelle and the kids came running. We almost called an ambulance, but the cramp finally loosened and I was able to get back in bed. I called my doctor, she wrote me a ‘script for the strongest stuff you can get without an IV, and my mother went to pick it up. I spent Wednesday to Saturday in bed, stoned out of my mind, and I stayed pretty much away from social media because I didn’t want to risk saying anything uncouth while doped to the gills. I ran out of the good dope on Saturday, and guess what happened Sunday?

Withdrawals.

For those of you who don’t know, I was a heroin junkie from 1997 to 2001. I quit when I met the woman who’s now my wife—Chelle. I tell you what, man, I don’t miss withdrawals whatsoever. Nastiest fucking feeling on the planet. Shit crawling under your skin. Greasy sweats. You smell like ammonia and ass, if you can imagine that. The odor is the chemicals leaving your body through your pores. Nothing fun about withdrawals, which is why drugs like heroin are so hard to kick. Mind you, the shit my doctor gave me is legal. Heroin is not. The legal dope is synthetically similar to heroin, but it’s also a controlled, time-release dose. Anyfuck, it was fun while it lasted. I hate to say that, but I can only be honest with you.

I woke up Sunday morning absolutely done with bed. Sick and fucking tired of my mattress. I didn’t want to see it again for a month, I was so done. I got up and stripped the bedding, which of course smelled like an unwashed junkie, and took everything to the laundry room. I put on my shoes and socks and left the house, phone in tow, Usher’s Passing, by Robert McCammon, audiobook loaded and good to go.

I WALKED FOR FOUR FUCKING MILES!

I posted to Instagram and Twitter, I was so excited. I might have gone farther, but my right foot, the one attached to my gimpy leg (I have neuropathy in that leg due to nerve damage, which is a side effect of my back surgeries, and so on), started to feel like I was walking on glass. I stopped on the side of the road and called my mother to come pick me up, because Chelle and I don’t drive. She has extreme anxiety behind the wheel, and my leg is undependable so I can’t manage the pedals.

Here I was terrified that I’d done something to myself, and it seems all I needed was a little downtime. Today, I walked another three miles, and might’ve done more, but it seems I’m acquiring a blister on my left foot. I was a mess trying to go that last mile. I’m sure my hobbling-ass looked a fuckin sight! But I refused to give up because, other than my burning left foot, I felt amazing.

Side note: anybody know what to do about a foot blister? If you say “stay off it” I’mma ignore you cuz I’m stubborn.

By the end, I’d walked from downtown Prattville, near the courthouse, through several side streets and alleys, until I ended up at the library, my home away from home. There I found four books that piqued my interest for a quarter a piece. I grabbed them and then proceeded to call my ride.

All in all, it was a fantastic day. If you want to see my weekly weigh-in, my book haul, and some other updates, you can check out my Instagram @EdwardLorn.

It’s also been announced that I’m one of A Stranger Dreams’ new reps. I’ll be showcasing their products on my YouTube channel, and you guys will get a discount if you use my coupon code. More on that when I find out more details.

So yeah, this shitty-ass of a week came out fine in the end. I’m happy anyway. Many thanks to everyone who wished me well while I was down, and the same goes for all of my cheerleaders on Twitter and Instagram. I’m determined to beat this belly. Maybe one day I’ll even walk a 5k…or run a marathon. Anything’s possible.

In reading news, I’m blowing right through Black House, by King and Straub, with my good friend Angela. I’m also still audiobooking ‘Salem’s Lot with Isaak, as well as listening to Usher’s Passing while I walk, but holy shit what a struggle the McCammon book is. Lastly, I’m reading a chapter a night from So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, by Jon Ronson, and enjoying it. I’ve long read a nonfiction book a month, but I usually kept them to myself. For some reason I felt that sharing my nonfiction reads was an invasion of privacy, as if it gave people a view of me they shouldn’t be allowed. I no longer feel that way, though, and I have no idea where I got that idea to begin with…

You know how we do. Chime in down there in the doobly-doo and lemme know what you’re reading and how life is going for you. I love hearing from everyone. I might not always respond (because there’s not always call for me to) but I read everyone’s posts.

Take care of each other, and I’ll see you here again next Monday.

E.

I’ve Lost a Small Child

I’ve been saving today’s post for the past two weeks because, honestly, it’s seemed too good to be true. But now that it’s been verified on several accounts, let’s discuss how I lost a small child…

I am currently 324 lbs (147kg), down from 387lbs (176kg), which is what I weighed at my doctor’s appointment in January. When exactly I lost all of this weight, I have no idea. I spent all of January, February, and March in bed, eating almost nonstop. I was packing in about 5,000 calories a day: fried chicken, two to three sandwiches at a time, chips, ramen (two packets at a time), and so much more. I was killing myself with food and telling myself I was happy. The cost of my food alone was $400 a month. I ate like that all the way up until April 21, when I started my bone broth fast. The bone broth fast lasted only two days, mainly because the broth was nasty tasting, and over those two days I had a total of only 12 ounces of broth. Then from April 23rd until May 11 all I had was water, apple cider vinegar, and vitamin supplements. I did have a cheat day right in the middle of that time, during which I had a double bacon cheeseburger, a large fry, and an Oreo peanut butter and bacon milkshake from Five Guys. That meal was about 1,600 calories.

To recap, that’s 1,600 calories, total, between April 23 and May 11. Three weeks with only one meal. When I saw my doctor on April 29, I weighed in at 330lbs (150kg).

I have not weighed myself since May 9. On the 9th, I weighed 324lbs on my personal scale, down another 6lbs since my appointment on April 29. I posted my proof to Instagram, which I’ll link to HERE. On Saturday, I had lemon-pepper chicken (breast meat only), asparagus, and carrots, all roasted, and yesterday I had chicken tenders and mac and cheese. Regular-human sized portions of all.

Even without eating, I’ve had an insane amount of energy. I’ve been walking (with and without my walker, as my leg allows), riding my recumbent bike, and strength training my arms (five and ten pounds weights; I’ll link to the routine I use HERE). I’ve gotten to the point that I need to do some kind of exercise every day or else I feel jittery and anxious. I, one of the laziest people on the planet, seem to now be addicted to activity. Trust me, I’m just as surprised as you.

Speaking of my leg allowing, I haven’t had a fall in a few weeks, and I seem to be relying on the walker less and less. Supposedly, apple cider vinegar helps with neuropathy. I don’t know how true that is, but my leg seems to be more dependable. Perhaps it’s all in my head, but I know it’s holding me up longer than it used to. I can only hope that the trend continues.

My body is changing in crazy ways, too, as one might expect from such weight loss. I’m losing the majority of my weight in my chest, arms, and legs right now. My belly is getting looser, too, but that’s where the bulk of my weight is, so it’ll be a while before I see big results there. I don’t really see much difference in my face, but people online are saying I’m thinning out. Then again, I see myself in the mirror every day, so is it any wonder that I’m the last one to notice?

Because I’ve done so well on my water fast, I’m returning to it today. Health-wise, I should be fine until I hit around 250lbs (114kg), or so my nutritionist calculates. Under that weight I run the risk of damaging my organs. Right now, my body is eating the fat I’ve stored up over the past 30 years, but if it starts eating muscle I’ll be in trouble. I’m being closely monitored, so when that starts happening, I’ll return to a regular diet.

I will say, I can no longer eat like I used to. I barely finished my meal at Five Guys (it wasn’t that great tasting either, if I’m honest), and eating this weekend left me stuffed until I visited the bathroom. This morning, I have no appetite.

Now for the part everyone’s been asking me for. My routine the past three weeks has been as follows:

I get up in the morning around 4am and have a Centrum Men’s One-a-Day multivitamin, 16 ounces of black coffee, and a shot of apple cider vinegar with a 20oz bottle of water as a chaser. After that, as per usual, I go out to the office and write until my butt hurts. Once I’m done writing, I’ll go for my walk, or do my strength training routine. Afterward, I have my electrolyte supplement and a bottle of water. Then I’ll shower and lay down to read. Twice a day, I take 500mg potassium with a 20 ounce bottle of water. (My after-workout electrolyte supplement also has potassium, as does my multivitamin.) At about 4pm, I cook dinner for the fam. We all sit together during dinner because it’s one of the only times throughout the day we get to spend together without interruption. I have another bottle of water while they eat, then I lay down to read until bedtime. All throughout the day, I fuck around on social media. And that’s it.

I know all that might sound sad and boring, but it really isn’t. It’s a rather pleasant routine. I’m enjoying it, anyway.

So there’s the update I promised. I’ll do weekly weigh-ins, but I don’t think I’ll be doing the video logs like I promised. Too much editing work I don’t have time for, and I don’t think I want my channel to become a weightloss vlog. A few people have already called me an inspiration, and that makes me really fuckin uncomfortable. Everyone’s body’s different, and if this routine is done by the wrong person, it can be lethal, so please don’t do what I’m doing without your doctor’s blessing and supervision. If someone got sick and/or died because I “inspired” them, I…well, I have no idea what I’d do. It would likely destroy me, so please, please, please, don’t try this at home.

In reading news, I finished Star, by Yukio Mishima, and The Mask, by Dean Koontz (reread with my good friend Delee), and hated both. I’m currently reading and loving Those Across the River, by Christopher Buehlman, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, by Jon Ronson, and ‘Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King (audiobook reread with Sylvanus [aka Isaak from chat]). Once I’m done with ‘Salem’s Lot, I’ll be starting my reread of Black House, by King and Straub, with my friend Angela, if she can finish The Talisman in time, that is.

Let me know what y’all are reading down there in the doobly-doo. I love hearing from you, even if I don’t always respond. If I don’t respond, please believe it’s because I either have nothing to add, or I was busy. Never think I’m ignoring you.

Take care of each other, and I’ll see y’all next Monday, unless you’re a YouTube subscriber, then I’ll see you tomorrow.

E.

VIDJAS!

I Need All of the Sleep

Where the fuck has this year gone? My mother always told me to cherish my youth because time moves faster the older you get but I didn’t believe her. 2019 is almost hallway gone and I’ve yet to write out the year correctly once. Not one single damn time. On Friday, during a rather unimportant meeting that has no baring on this conversation whatsoever and thus we shall move along, I wrote 2017 on every form I signed. Luckily sevens are easily turned into nines, but it was still embarrassing. I just looked old dude in the eye and said, “Bruh, I haven’t looked at a calendar since 2011.” He laughed. I was dead serious but he laughed. So I laughed. Now it’s a joke between us. Whatever.

I’ve been swept up in a sequence of events that I have complete control over but it all feels like chaos. I spent four days out of town, and a bit out of my mind. All good things, but motherfuck is life moving quickly. Before I left, I had to ship 200 packages to pre-order customers and Patreon patrons. It was nuts, but I made it. Just in time too. I dropped the packages off at the post office five minutes before they closed and was then whisked away to parts unknown.

Kidding. I knew where we were going. Didn’t make the trip less exciting or painful. Yeah, you read that right. I was pretty miserable the entire time. Like being drunk but not being able to get your dick up. Ladies, whatever simile works for you, please translate for yourselves. This trip was the farthest I’ve travelled since my fall in January, and then I had to get around on a walker when I got there, but I made it. I’ve been in an herbal coma for the past two days and I’m just now starting to feel like I can move without screaming.

This is going to be a short post because I’m exhausted. I need all of the sleep. All of it. I’ll update you guys on the weight loss and fasting and all that next time.

But you know how we do. Lemme know what you’re reading below, and anything else that tickles your fancy.

I’m currently reading The Mask, by Dean Koontz, with my buddy Delee, False Bingo, by Jac Jemc, which is due out this October, and I’m listening to ‘Salem’s Lot, with my dude Isaak, aka Sylvanus.

OH! AND I FINALLY FINISHED THE TALISMAN!!!

Take care of one another,

E.

Losing a Backstreet Boy

I used to joke that I was so fat that it was like I was carrying around a whole Backstreet Boy. I even had a blog called “Losing a Backstreet Boy” back in the day. It’s still up, I believe. Today’s blog title is also clickbait. I fully expect comments in the vein of “I thought a Backstreet Boy had died. I was finna riot!”

This is the last post of April, and the first update concerning my progress fasting, which I discussed in last week’s post.

As of today, I’ve not had solid food since Saturday, April 20. I had bone broth last Sunday and Monday, six ounces each day, for a total of 12oz over those two days. The broth not only made me unbearably gassy, but my burps tasted like rancid cow fat. Let us not talk about the aroma of my southward expulsions. Suffice it to say that, during one close call, I almost killed the cat, for she was within the blast radius and ill-equipped to deal with the sudden venting of my colon. Demon did survivor, but not without emotional trauma, I’m sure.

The third day of my fast (the first day without broth) was the worst. Severe hunger hit me upon waking, but I persevered with one thought in mind:

“If I fuck around and eat, I’ll never know if tomorrow would’ve been better than today.”

And I’ll be damned if the next day wasn’t leagues better than the previous. My hunger was gone. It had simply vanished overnight, never to be seen again. I haven’t been hungry since Wednesday. It’s currently Monday morning. Fucking weird, right?

I suppose it’s like any other addiction, or any new exercize. Those first few days are murder. Cigarettes, alcohol, even heroin, all of which I’ve beaten, were the same way. First three or four days I thought I was going to die if I didn’t consume my drug of choice.

Food itself isn’t the addiction here. It’s the activity of eating that’s the problem. I love eating. My main problem was that I had to be eating while watching television. Nowadays TV has been replaced by YouTube, but it’s the same idea. If I have visual stimuli going, I have to be cramming food into my gob. I watch upwards of ten hours of YouTube a day. Yes, that’s ten hours each and every day. And, yes, I used to eat during that time. The only time I wasn’t laying in bed, watching YouTube and eating, was when I was having dinner with the family, cooking, writing, or sleeping. I had even started eating while reading, which is a development that surfaced just this year. I was easily packing away seven thousand calories a day. That’s insane.

I wish I had an update on my weight, but I don’t go see my doctor until 3 pm today. I’ll update the blog with my weigh-in tonight, right at the top for everyone to see, when I get home tonight. We’re seeing Avengers: Endgame directly afterward, so it’ll be late. I’ll also be uploading a vlog this week, on Tuesday or Wednesday, noting my progress, including my exercise routine and water/supplement intake.

I’m happy as hell right now. I’ve had only positive side effects during this fast. No headaches, no abdominal pains, no bloating, no cramping, no weakness, none of the warning signs that I should end my fast. Since that fight with hunger last Wednesday, it’s been smooth sailing. I actually think it’s too good to be true. I fully expect to get to my doctor’s office today and find I’ve either lost no weight (that’s impossible because I can see a difference when I take off my shirt), or that my lab work will say I’m slowly killing myself. Again, I doubt that’s the case because I feel amazing, but I’m a pessimist at the best of times.

Here’s another oddity for you. My blood sugar, which usually runs between 120 and 140, has been standing steady at 100. I expected it to be in the 30s or 40s, honestly. No way did I think it would maintain a healthy level.

In other vital news, my blood pressure hasn’t gone above 120/60, and I’m sleeping exceptionally well. Like I said, folks, it’s all seemingly too good to be true.

If I had to guess, I’d say I’ve lost a good ten pounds of body fat, not counting water weight. I have huge dents in my gut, which used to be an unmarked dome of pale flesh. Now that unmarked dome looks like the moon after a meteor shower. But no worries. If I’m far off concerning my weightloss, I won’t be discouraged. Disappointed, yes, but not discouraged. I will keep on keeping on until I reach my goal of 250, which I hope to hit by the end of the year. At this point, it’s literally 250 or bust. Or, if you prefer, 250 or die.

Now for other life updates:

In reading news, I finished The Regulators this week. Thursday Theorist made it’s return, to the joy of several fans. I know you’ve been waiting forever, but I had to get these right. I think these final episodes are gonna rock. I might even eventually go back and reshoot the earlier episodes…Maybe.

I’m currently back to reading The Talisman. I think I’ll actually finish it this time. I have less than 130 pages left and it’s started to get interesting. This is my third time reading it, but it feels like the first.

I also finished The Obsoletes, by Simeon Mills (review will be up Wednesday), and immediately started Aetherchrist, by Kirk K. Jones, which I am actively in love with. Dude can write his ass off, if you can dig it. I’m also listening to Carrie for the first time. Fifth time reading the book, but the first time listening to the audiobook narrated by Sissy Spacek. I’ll be starting ‘Salem’s Lot‘s audiobook reread on Wednesday. My friend Isaak, or if you’re familiar with my livestreams, Sylvanus, will be joining me.

In publishing news, CRUELTY & JOY [Episode One] ships out to Patreons today. Pennies for the Damned pre-orders will be going out with them, too, so if you’ve been waiting on that one, your wait will soon be over. Thanks for your patience.

I’m still waiting on the first proof of No Home for Boys from the new printers. I’ll update everyone when those come in.

I suppose that’s all for now. I’ll update the blog with my weight tonight when I get home. In the meantime, lemme know what you’re reading, and anything else going on in your life. I truly love hearing from each of you.

Take care of each other,

E.

 

Extreme Measures Must Be Taken

I’m slowing killing myself eating the way I do, and without the ability to exercise, my options are pretty fucking limited. In case you’re new to the blog, I have a degenerative disc condition and have had five back surgeries since 2005. They did a fusion in 2016, but in January of 2019 I fell six feet off my porch, re-injuring myself. I haven’t been able to walk more than fifty feet since without my right leg giving out on me.

Last year, I had dropped a hell of a lot of weight just walking and cutting out sugar from my diet. I went from 400 pounds to 350 over the course of nine months, which was the lowest I’ve weighed since high school. I was doing so fucking good, and then I fell, setting myself back a whole year. I’m now dangerously close to 400 lbs again with no end to the gaining in sight.

All I do when not writing or shooting videos is lay in bed and eat. I used to not be able to eat and read, but these days I do the two activities simultaneously. I’m putting away $400 worth of food a month by my damn self. If you’re doing the mental calculations on how much food that is for one person, I’ll help you out by saying that my wife and two kids only eat $300 worth of food a month combined. That’s $100 per person. I’m consuming four times as much as each of them, and my weight gain shows it. I men, fucking hell, I’ve gained forty pounds in four months.

Okay, now that you’re up to date, what the fuck am I going to do about it?

Yesterday I began a bone broth fast. Once I run out of broth (I made four gallons) I’m switching to water. I will be ingesting only water and black coffee for, at the very least, seven days. I’m being medically monitored, so save your concerns. I know you mean well, but I don’t want to hear it. More on that in a minute.

At the end of this post I will link you to the exact regimen I will be following. The video is by The Fasting Fatman, and I want anyone who considers commenting about how dangerous this is to watch that video and see his results. I highly suggest watching all of his videos to see just how successful he’s become. He’s built the same as I am, and has the same medical conditions. Not only that, but this was my nutritionist’s idea. Maybe not to the extreme I’m planning, because I will eventually be trying 120 days without food using The Fasting Fatman’s routine, but I’ll be having frequent lab work and stress testing done, so calm yo chest meat.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. E.! You’re gonna kill yourself! Just eat healthy! Just change your routine! Just just JUST!

No. Shut up and listen.

I’m killing myself with food. The rationale, whether you agree with it or not, is that I’m going to die if I continue living this lifestyle, so I might as well go extreme and risk killing myself trying to reset my life. I appreciate the concern, but I cannot stress enough how bad it’s gotten.

I will be documenting every step of the process both here and on my YouTube channel, so if you want to see how I fair, drop me a subscription. I will be updating my YouTube channel on Sundays with weigh-ins and pictures and a video journal. If nothing else, it should serve as an interesting experiment.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and support. Take care of each other.

E.

The Fasting Fatman’s routine video:

 

A Sick Kid and Unexpected Awesomeness

Here’s me face!

DSCF6686

Extra points to anyone who can place the “Here’s me face” reference…

This past week was a really good week. Probably my best week of the year so far. I’m still waiting on a decent proof of No Home for Boys, but Cruelty & Joy (Episode One) came in and it looks sexy, so that’ll be going out toward the end of the month with the Pennies for the Damned preorders. Not sure what I’m going to do about No Home for Boys at this point. It seems like every time I fix something a new problem arises. I can’t keep blowing money on proofs. They’re $5 a pop, plus $4 shipping, so I’m out $9 plus tax every single time I order one. I’m on my fourth proof order. Something’s gotta give here, or else I’ll have to scrap the design and start from scratch. Patreon peeps have already been patient enough, but I wanna be happy with the final product, so decisions, decisions…

I seem to be back on track as far as reading is concerned. I finished The Eyes of Darkness last week, which was a buddy read with my friend Delee. She’s super awesome to buddy read with. I always have a blast reading with her. The back-and-forth jokes are numerous, and she can make the shittiest book feel like a breeze to get through. Which is basically what happened because we both ended up hating The Eyes of Darkness, yet both of us enjoyed reading it because we enjoy each other’s company, so to speak. The Eyes of Darkness is one of the books Koontz first published under the Leigh Nichols pen name that he eventually rewrote and published under the Koontz name. No telling why, because all the Nichols books I’ve read from him have been middling to terrible, The Eyes of Darkness being the worst one thus far. Next on our chronological readthrough of Koontz’s material is his 1981 novel, The Mask, a novel that, once again, was first published under a pseudonym, only this time under his Owen West moniker.

the more you know

Then, as a fluke, I picked up Quantum Leap: The Novel, and it’s pretty damn amazing. I know, I know, who would’ve thought?!? It was part of a stack of Quantum Leap books I picked up at a library sale when they had their fill-a-bag-for-a-buck sale going on. I brought a trash bag and made out like a bandit. Scored nine Quantum Leap books in all! Anyway, the writing in Quantum Leap: The Novel isn’t anything to… well, it’s nothing to write home about, but the story and the narrative voice are engaging and a whole bunch of fun. It captures the tone of the tv series perfectly. If you’re a fan of the show, I highly recommend picking up, at the very least, the first book in the series. Goodreads is a little confusing on which book came first, but the one I’m talking about can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1920066.Quantum_Leap

“Oh boy…”

I read 120 pages in six hours last night. That’s unheard of for me. I recently did that with Your Life is Mine, by Nathan Ripley, but before that it had been months and months, easily over a year, since I read more than fifty pages of one book in a single day, much less a single sitting. I’ve been reading numerous books at one time for so long that I usually read twenty-five pages of one, thirty of another, maybe fifty pages of one that’s really, really good, and so on. But to read two books almost back to back with such lightning-fast narratives is rare for me. Especially when one of them is a novelization of a television show that’s been off the air for over two decades!

In suckier news, Chris is currently sick. I’ve been up all night with him. Not sure if it’s his reflux acting up, or if he caught a stomach bug, but he started throwing up around ten last night and only stopped at about three this morning. He couldn’t keep down a Zantac or a Tums, so I just had to ride it out with him. Finally he passed out from exhaustion, I think. He seems to be sleeping fine now, so my fingers are crossed that it was just his reflux. When he gets up, I’ll push fluids and we’ll take it from there.

How’re you guys doing? Whatcha reading? Seen any good movies lately? Update me in the doobly doo and I’ll catch you guys next Monday. Sorry for the short post today, but I’mma tired daddy.

Oh, before I forget, Thunderstorm books sent me an terrific gift. You can check that out in the videos at the end of this post.

Take care of each other,

E.

Hey, look! I didn’t mention social media once…

D’oh!

VIDJAS!