Ruminating On: Faith in Humanity

Sit with me for a minute. Let me tell you a story. What I’m about to tell you happened to me about an hour ago. Dig it:

First, a little back story. My doctor, the lovely lady that attempts to keep me pain free month in and month out, is in different city than the one I reside in. In fact, she’s over a hundred and fifty miles away. The last time I saw Doctor Amy was a month ago. During this appointment she wrote me one prescription, and then another prescription for the same medicine with the caveat that I could not fill the second one until after the 16th of November. This is because the laws have recently changed and she is no longer allowed to write refills for Class 2 narcotics. Knowing I cannot make the trip down to see her every month, she did this out of consideration for my condition. My back does not take long car rides well, and it takes a week for me to recuperate after riding down for my appointments. I know you’re asking yourself, “Well, why doesn’t E get someone local?” and the answer is this: drug abusers. People who abuse the type of medicine I need to function throughout the day. I don’t hate these people. In fact, I used to be one (I guess in a way I will always be one), but things have gotten out of control.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. I attempted to fill that prescription Doctor Amy so kindly wrote me. Unfortunately, she wrote in the note section that it should be filled after the 16th and not on. Being that I only get a thirty day supply and there was 31 days last month, that means I’ve been out of my pain pills since the 15th. Not cool, but I can deal. Been through worse, and I know relief is coming. The pharmacist told me to come back after midnight. I thanked her and went home.

Now to the present. I rode down to Walgreens and went inside.I handed the overnight pharmacist my prescription. She glances at the location and automatically says, “This isn’t from our geographic location. I won’t be able to fill this.” I explained my situation to her, but she remained firm. She went on to explain to me all the new rules and regulations that kept her from making an exception for me.

I am not so proud a man that I will lie about crying. I’ve been in a great deal of pain the past two days (some of you that follow me on Facebook will know I went to the ER Friday night because the pain had become too great) and emotionally stressed out. I have four projects currently in the works, and one deadline approaching that I absolutely cannot miss. Home life is great as always, and my family is constantly supportive, but I took on far too much. So yes, I began to cry.

And then something changed. This once stoic pharmacist’s posture softened, and a crooked little grin lifted one side of her mouth. She’d laid my script on the counter in front of me, but now she picked it up, and, without another word, moved to the computer and started typing. My blubbering butt was stunned stupid. I know I looked odd standing there gawking at this woman who had just suddenly decided to do a stranger a solid. She filled my prescription, said that she hoped I got to feeling better, and wished me a goodnight. I thanked her and left.

She didn’t have to do that. And though I devolved into tears, I understood her position. The law’s the law, right? I wasn’t going to ask her to risk her livelihood. Shoot, I can’t even call their hotline to commend her because I’d wind up getting her in trouble if I went into detail. She risked her job and license to help a guy she didn’t know from Adam and restored a bit of that man’s faith in humanity.

With all the terrible tales that cycle through the internet on a daily basis, I thought that, for once, you guys would like to hear a pleasant story concerning a good deed.

Maybe we’re not so bad after all. Well, not all of us, anyway.

E.

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Ruminating On: The Stigma of Inactivity

I’m an author, so, of course, one of my favorite things to hear is, “Why are you so tired? All you’ve been doing is sitting at a computer all day.” Luckily, my wife doesn’t do this, and neither do my kids, but there are quite a few people out there that actually consider “thinking” to be a lazy man’s profession. Are the keyboard pounders of the world usually out of shape? Yes. Does that mean we’re not active? Ah, now there’s something worth discussing.

Anyone who’s spent any significant amount of time in front of a computer will tell you that it can be exhausting. And no, not just those that frequent porn sites. Aside from Sylvester Strong-Arm, there are plenty of us who pay our bills by working a mouse and keyboard. Whether we be writers, programmers, technicians, or the flotsam that instigate the Saudi Prince emails, we do no less work than the average hole digger. Sure, our pecks and calves aren’t quite as impressive as Johnny Jackhammer, but our brains are flex worthy. Check out this +1 cranium, yo!

But I want to get down to the nitty gritty here. No one ever complains that scientists and lab rats should get off their asses and do something. No one accuses big-name authors of being lazy. But let the person in question be a struggling sort, someone who has yet to make it big, and all you hear is, “Why don’t you spend some time away from the computer? You know, get a life?” What this tells me is that the levels of our bank accounts closely mirror the level of our activity. Meaning, as long as you’re paying the bills, you’re working hard. If you’re attempting to pay the bills, not so much. This even overflows into the “real world”. Think about it. The fast food worker that makes minimum wage (and some of these people are college graduates who can’t find a job elsewhere, so keep your fucking assumptions to yourself) is constantly told they need to find a real job.  There are even memes floating around that say the guy who flips your burgers and cooks your fries doesn’t deserve fifteen bucks an hour. How so? What makes his job easier than, let’s say, a software technician?  On the flip side, what makes the software technician’s job worth more? But still… STILL! … we devalue those that do not succeed. It’s a double standard across the board, and the only set measurement has to do with money and/or success. But the simple fact of the matter is this: The people who work the hardest are usually paid the least. And this is because struggle is not valued. Accomplishment is. And activity is a state of mind.

Am I wrong? Am I right? Am I confusing or simply full of shit? Talk about it in the comments below.

I’ve been E. You’ve been you. Talk at you later!

(Author’s Note: If you found an error in today’s post, a typo or what have you, calm down. These things happen. Take a deep breath, have a coke and a smile, and maybe take up a career as an air traffic controller. This blog is not professionally edited. It’s a conversation, and I plan to keep it that way. Now, the books I sell, that’s a different story. Have a lovely day.)

Scare E: A Contest of Horrors! 2014

scare e 2014

Back in 2012, I started a contest known as Scare E, where I sent out a call for the best horror fiction from today’s up-and-comers as well as the completely unknowns. Now it’s a new year, and I need another horror fix.

The rules are simple:

1. Your story must be no shorter than three thousand words and no longer than ten thousand.

2. Your story must be your own original work.

3. Your story must never have been published. It can be an old story, or a story that you’ve won other contests with, but it cannot have been up for sale anywhere at any time. I will check. And remember, cache copies are a thing. If you’ve had it up for sale, I will find out.

4. Your story must be well edited. I only want the cleanest manuscripts. I don’t care how you format it, what font you use, or if your mother told you it’s the swellest story in all of Christendom; if your story is unedited it will be disqualified and deleted. Great ideas are simply that; great ideas. I want great stories; and great stories are edited stories.

5. Your story must be scary. My personal preference is quiet, unsettling horror, but sometimes I’m in the mood for a bit of disturbia or gore. If you choose to bloody things up or drift off into the surreal, you must be on your game and do it well. The thing lurking in the shadows is far scarier to me than a creature tearing someone’s head off. Also, you might face an uphill battle if your tale involves vampires, werewolves, or zombies. I’m quite tired of overused monsters. I’m not saying great stories cannot include those things, but you should be careful not to revisit old tropes without a bucketful of originality behind you. Consider yourselves forewarned.

Ze contest opens for submissions on October 1st and closes on the 21st day of the same month. If you don’t math good, this means you have exactly three weeks to get your stories in to me after the contest opens. As soon as the clock strikes Midnight (12:00am CST) on October 21st, I’m closing her down. All stories submitted after that time will go directly to my junk folder, where a ravenous cyber troll will feast upon your hard work and crap out piles of useless kilobytes. The winner will be announced at high noon on Halloween (October 31st, 2014). One talented (not lucky, but talented) individual will win a $50 Amazon gift card or five Audible credits. It’s up to the winner which one they prefer. Due to restrictions on international rewards, this contest is only available to residents of the United States. I hate this, believe me, but I am unable to award gift cards and credits to persons residing outside of the US. Blame the Mighty ‘Zon, not me.

This year, as a special added bonus, the winner will also receive a professional cover and formatting so that they can upload their piece to Amazon.com and sell their story for further profit.

The rest is up to you. Get to writing, and I’ll see you back here on October 1st! May the horror be with you!

E.

William Shakespeare as Written by Popular Novelists

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Feel free to share, but please give credit to E. or Edward Lorn. Thank you.

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by Neil Gaiman

Sympathy had no choice. No, not at all. It was war, death, and sickness that caused it such horrible trouble. Very short, like a terrible dream. And quick, it was, like a shadow. And very, very British.

Her vagina gobbled up the darkness.

 

Romeo & Juliet, by Dean Koontz

But, smart! what golden retriever through yonder window breaks. It is man’s best friend, and Juliet is the blonde, wittily sarcastic love interest. Arise, fair precocious child, and follow the clairvoyant fry cook into danger.

 

Othello, by Chuck Palahniuk

I am Othello’s bubbling rage. Please replace your oar and chains to their upright position.

 

Hamlet, by Stephen King

“A hit! Ayuh, a very palpable hit!”

And hit he was. Because there was blood. Lots of blood. Loads of it. And didn’t it just drip, drip, drip onto the floor?

That’s your life just drip, drip, dripping onto the floor, Hammie. Reminds you of that poor girl, doesn’t it? (what was her name? the one those damn kids dropped that pig blood on?) All drip, drip, dripping and full of fiery rage. She burned down her castle, and ruined the ball. It was the same year that rabid dog trapped that mother and her little boy in their car. You remember. Eventually, everyone remembers.

Now all this party needed was a clown, if you could but dig.

 

The Taming of the Shrew, by James Patterson

SHREW, the new thrill ride by James Patterson. And introducing William Shakespeare.

 

Do you have a popular novelist you’d like to see rewrite a bit of Shakespeare? If so, drop your suggestions in the comment section of this post, and I will do my best.

 

Later!

 

E.

“World’s Greatest Dad” is Free for the Next Five Days!

This one has been free on Goodreads for a while now, but if you want a copy for your Kindle, now is the time to grab it. The short story (which is also featured in my collection WHAT THE DARK BRINGS) is one of my favorite stories that I’ve written. Seeing that it’s kinda sorta a Halloween tale and All Hallow’s Eve is right around the bend (don’t look at me like that, I heard Christmas music at Walgreens last week), I figured I’d drop a freebie on everyone. Click on the cover below to grab your copy today. Enjoy!

 

Oh, and as always, feel free to share wherever you see fit. Thanks!

 

 

 

Click HERE for the UK edition.