I Fell Off My Porch

Thursday I shot two new YouTube videos, went to the post office to ship the books from Wednesday’s flash sale, then grocery shopping, and then we came home. Chelle, the kids, and I had unloaded the groceries, and I was going back out to close the hatch on our car.

My front porch has a gate. I’ve opened and closed this gate thousands of times in five years, I’m sure. Sometimes I do it a dozen times in a single day to keep Ash (our dog) from running out while we unload the car. This time, though, I closed the gate and, for some stupid fucking reason, instead of turning around to walk down the steps, I took a step backward and missed the next step.

What happened next is a blur of movement and me screaming. My mother, who lives on the same property as us, was outside and saw what happened. I’m a 38-year-old man, and my 72-year-old mother came jogging across the yard hollering “My baby! My baby!” as if Nazis were stealing me from her breast. You can laugh. It’s funny now. At least I think it is.

So what happened? I sailed backward, missing every step on my six-foot-tall porch and landed on my head, neck, and right shoulder (you might be able to picture that; if you’re wondering why I didn’t break my neck, you’re not the only one) and tumbled ass over teakettle into the car we’d just unloaded. The fender stopped me like a brick wall. My back hit with such force that I put a dent in the car, one that won’t come out, not even with aid of a plunger.

I was unconscious for a time, probably because I landed headfirst on solid ground, or maybe because the back of my head also hit the car when I landed. Who knows? Thing is, I’d scrambled my brains. I woke up in the ambulance in more pain than I’ve ever known. Fun times.

Because of my head injury, I lay on an ER stretcher, strapped to a backboard with a neck brace on, for three hours while they ran all sorts of tests, including CT scans where I had to be lifted from gurney to table and back again, all while suffering this hitherto unheard of level of pain. See, when they’re ruling out head trauma, you don’t get any good painkillers because they can mask symptoms of brain injury. Ain’t I lucky?

Didja know that three hours in excruciating agony can make you seriously contemplate chewing off your tongue so that you’ll asphyxiate on your own blood? The more you know…

When they finally came in to take off the neck brace and give me pain medicine, all they had to offer was Dilaudid. In case you don’t know, I’m a recovering junkie from way back (clean and sober since 2001) so I refused. I asked for something that wasn’t narcotic and they returned with Toradol.

Lemme tell ya, sports fans, Toradol ain’t shit. Didn’t do me a lick of good. But I stayed the course. No dope. No relapse. I’d be the hero of my people!

Just kidding. I finally let them shoot me up about six hours in. Couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t let them send me home with anything so GO TEAM!

(I take Norco 7.5 for my normal everyday back pain so I’m not completely without relief, so calm down. I don’t need any comments about how stubborn I am, thanks. You should know that Dilaudid is synthetic heroin and can cause physical addiction, whereas the worst you’ll get from Norco is a mental addiction. It’s the difference between wanting another pill and NEEDING TO SHOOT THE FUCK UP BECAUSE THERE’S ANTS LIVING IN YOUR MOTHERFUCKING FLESH)

Anyfuck, I didn’t break my neck, obviously, because they took the neck brace off, which is a miracle in itself because all my weight (all 350lbs) landed on my head, neck, and clavicle. I do have a hairline fracture of the collarbone but it’s not serious. I did however fuck up my back. Again. For the sixth time.

I won’t go into my many surgeries here. We’d be here too long and I’m already thinking about taking another Norco, (which can impede my better judgment and make me act less than civil) because my old buddy Pain is creeping back in. Long story short, I have nerve damage due to all these surgeries, and the fall exacerbated the old injuries. My right leg is currently paralyzed, but we’re all hoping that’s only temporary due to swelling. My surgery in 2016 was suppose to have fixed it so this would never happen again. Guess my back doc didn’t take into account the possibility of his patient being a fuckin clumsy oaf, huh? Well, joke’s on him. Ha!

Yeah, so, I’m laid up and hurting and fuckin crying over the outpouring of support I’ve received on Twitter. Y’all don’t have to buy my books or start a GoFundMe or any of that shit. I’m well insured, and you guys have been great to me already so me and mine are set and comfortable. I have seven novels awaiting publication, too. Trust me: I’ll. Be. Fine.

Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for all the love and support. You guys are the best.

E.

 

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Bad Mood

If I were an actor I’d be a method actor. No joke. I get stuck in a certain mood because it suits the role I feel the need to fill. This week that has been the role of Critical Asshat as I once again battle the never-ending stream of unedited garbage polluting the scene.

Yesterday someone sent me the first paragraph of a book. I followed the authors once upon a time, but finally gave up on them when I realized that all their lip-service about improving was so much smoke up my ass. Same thing happened a while back with another goofball. “We’re trying, we swear!” as each book released gets increasingly more awful. It’s like hearing an alcoholic swear off drink for the 90th time. For fucks sake, they had a misspelled word in the first fucking paragraph. Worst part is, the book had an “editor”. Says so on the copyright page.

But that’s none of my business. Warning other potential readers is my business, so I started spreading the message. To my surprise almost every-fuckin-one knew who I was talking about. Dozens of people asking, “Are you talking about so-and-so,” and me saying, “Yup.” I must’ve typed “Yup” eleventy-billion times. Not only that, but they all knew the “editor” of this particular hot garbage, too. Which made me wonder, if this person is so terrible at their job…why do they still have a job? Fuck it. Not my problem. Moving on.

You’re still here? Cool. Guess what I did this week? I signed signature sheets, finished final edits on the last Bay’s End book, typed up a short story, updated Patreon, and fucked up my mood by learning the most depressing song ever written. I need a break but it’s gonna be a week (at the very least) before I get one. Even then I’ll probably still upload to Youtube because that’s the only hobby I have left. Everything else has become a job. Greatest job in the world, but still a job.

You ever get stuck in a mood you don’t want to be in because it helps accomplish something? Also, how do you feel about paying for unedited books? No big deal? Does it drive you mad? Do you not even notice? Lemme know all that.

E.

 

I Make Fire!

Tonight we had a fire and chilled out as a family. Been a long time since we did that. Last time was mother’s day. Been way too long. Used to be, I had to use lighter fluid or these fire stick things they sell at our local grocery store. But I managed to start it tonight with some super dry wood and a metric ton of cardboard. I love Amazon Prime shipping.

In other news, I’m kinda participating in NaNoWriMo. I don’t have a daily word count because I write all my first drafts longhand nowadays, but I’ve knocked out 17 pages of a new novel…novella…short story…who knows? My word choice is much better when writing longhand, and typing everything up, writing the story all over again in a different format, helps even more with word choice. Besides the hand cramps, I have a lot more fun this way, and seeing the pages fill up gives me a greater sense of accomplishment. Dig it.

I’m thinking about starting a chronological read through of Clive Barker’s books. I don’t know if I want to start over with Books of Blood, or jump right into The Damnation Game. I’ve read the former, but not the latter. I might just start all over again and do a close read. Haven’t decided yet.

At present I’m reading Sea of Rust with my friends Jen Bernarini and JB Taylor. I’m listening to it now as I type this. Years ago, I couldn’t type and listen to audiobooks at the same time. Nowadays it ain’t so bad.

I think that’s all I have for tonight. What are you guys reading?

E.

A Return to Format

I’ve been away from this blog for so long I’ve forgotten what its purpose was, if it ever had a purpose. I’ve used it for political rants (I apologize for all of that, I’m better and saner now), self-promotion, idiotic challenges, fighting what I considered important battles, and various other fuckery). If you go back far enough you’ll even find that, at some point, I treasured story over everything, even basic editing. (Again, sorry about that). I’ve had a recent internet coming-of-age, so to speak. This isn’t some new-age bullshit. I simply realized that very little of this virtual reality is real and there are things in life better than likes and hearts and social acceptance, which is a drug, and I am nothing if not a life-long addict. So I wanted to get back to my roots and blog for a bit. We’ll play it by ear and see where it goes.

I’m sitting here now, listening to the under-appreciated Counting Crows album “Hard Candy” and wondering where everything went wrong. I suppose I could blame the 2016 election, as everyone else is doing, but that’s not the case. I’m little affected by politics, and can only blame myself for whatever pit of radical madness I might have fallen into. I still feel strongly that the wrong people are currently in charge, but other than voting, I have no say in the matter. What I do have a say in is my mood, and I’m much happier when I don’t think about how bad things are getting. I think that’s the last I’ll say about politics, simply because it’s not a pleasant subject, and I feel most of us are tired of the bullshit at this point.

So where did things go sideways? It likely occurred when I started seeing a modicum of success and came to believe that what I said mattered outside of my books. It’s an odd thing I’ve had to deal with several times in my life. I make it to a certain level of success and self destruct. I become manic, and the downward spiral is always worse than any upward momentum I can manage. Ego plays a big role in my existence. I have to keep my self esteem high or else I start listening to (and believing) those people who do not have my best interests in mind.

Leaving Facebook was probably the best decision of my career, but it wasn’t the only hurdle I had to overcome. I also had to understand that self deprecation (negatively reviewing my own work, and the like) did more harm than good. I didn’t think I deserved any praise for my early work, which I know seems odd considering I just said how big a role ego plays in my life, but that’s just it, the negativity was a safety precaution to combat the positive reception to my work. Of course I didn’t deserve the praise, because if I did, I’d start believing that I was somehow more important than everyone else, and I couldn’t let that happen. What I didn’t realize was that people were listening, and very few appreciated my shitty takes on books they enjoyed, whether or not I was the one who had written them. If you’re one of those people, I’m sorry. That was a dick move on my part.

An even bigger problem was my activity on Goodreads. It sounds funny saying this, me being an adult and all, but I fell in with the wrong crowd, a crowd that eventually turned on me for doing exactly what they were known to do: attacking authors who responded to my negative reviews of their work. Best thing that ever happened to me (and my career) was being blocked by someone I considered a good friend. Thank you, (you know who you are), your hypocrisy was eye opening, and I will be forever grateful for knowing you, if for no other reason than how our friendship ended.

So, in summation, this is a return to form, or format, if you will, and I plan to update this blog as much as possible to document my new journey, where I’ll try to accept myself more and just be happy. If you’re eading this, especially if you’ve somehow managed to remain subscribed to the blog, thanks for sticking with me through the poor mental health.

E.

Nocturnal Reader’s Box Newsletter Archive: Finale (Hopefully…)

So far you’ve read some pretty odd and conflicting stories, all from the same account, all from the same man. But this is the final email from NRB before deleting their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. I suggest you read through the previous emails to see for yourself that Vincent claimed this entire time that he (and family) was packing all these boxes himself. None of that was true. None of it. He employs a 3PL (third-party logistics company) in another state, which he’d never even visited, much less helped to pack boxes. For reference, his 3PL is located in Austin, Texas, and Vincent’s business address is in Tennessee. All this is public information.

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Proof of Piracy Claim:

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Proof of Staged Instagram posts:

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