This is just what we kept saying the last time we saw “Ready or Not.”
This is just what we kept saying the last time we saw “Ready or Not.”
Whether it is economics, depression, gender dysphoria, or a super-abundance of squirrels, everyone has their battles. Keep your heads up, Warriors of Every Stripe, but always be aware of the nearest shelter.
I would like to say a sincere “Thank You” from the bottom of my heart, and the heart of my bottom, for all the Birthday Wishes yesterday and the prayers, healing vibrations, and hamster sacrifices offered up for my fight with cancer. Having grown up as a bit of a professional New Kid in School and Authentic Whacko, I have always felt outside of every group I’ve encountered. Thank you for proving me wrong.
Today is my birthday. I used to get glum around my birthday, hating the reminder that I was getting older. I’d even tried to pretend it wasn’t happening.
Then this summer, I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Noting to fear,I am well on the way to beating it with a final round of chemo the end of this month.
Now, I’m really happy that I’m allowed to get older. I throw up my hands and shout “High Score!” I suggest you all try the same.
Stay tuned for the tale of Tommy the Tumor, along with speculations on what kind of superpowers you might get when bitten by a radioactive asshole.
It has been a while since the Arcanum Faire books have been available. February of this year, they went out of print. A few months after that Post Mortem Press, which had published them, went on indefinite hiatus due to the health of the publisher.
I got a local comic artist named Seth Lyons to do new covers and graphic elements. I had the advantage of the five years experience while Camp Arcanum was available to fine-tune things. The original covers were too creepy. Good but creepy. Readers who’d appreciate the humor and lunacy of the stories were frightened off. Those who like chainsaws, pentacles, and spooky old barns felt cheated.
So, the new iteration of Arcanum Faire is exactly what it says on the tin.
Here are the new covers for the first two books. Number three is in the pipeline. If you are intrigued, there are links to the Amazon pages to purchase. If not, we still have Paris.
It’s a dark time of year, a time when we are seeing more dark than light in a lot of ways, Warriors of Every Stripe. In stead of focusing on that, I’ll pet my ‘mews’, the black cat named Yule that sits at my right and post this little bit of fun. Enjoy and remember those on the other side of the veil who might come visiting tonight.
Some say the world will end in fire, some say it will be ice. Nobody ever mentioned squirrels.
Forgive my absence for most of this month. When not getting myself irradiated, dealing with chemo, or simply napping, I have been putting all my writing energy into my WIP. Fortunately, my publisher Hydra Publications and I set something in motion before I got sick and it comes out today!
“Squirrel Apocalypse” started out just as goofy screenplay exercise: Lost Boys/Nightwings with Squirrels. Circumstances beyond my control forced me to transition it to a novel, though it is still just as ridiculous as when I started. Here’s a little about it:
Chris Day had a perfect life… when he was twelve years old. Twenty years later, he is divorced, unemployed, and desperate to get through to his twelve year daughter, Liv. He hopes his grandmother’s dairy farm in Crickson, California will be a good place to start a new life. Chris spent his boyhood summers in mischief and squirrel-launching there with his two best friends, Olivia and Rafael.Today, the dairy farmers grow marijuana to make ends meet, and the local radio station broadcasts the movements of the DEA to help them stay one step ahead. His grandmother’s obsession with squirrels has turned to a crusade of extermination. Olivia and Rafael are still in town, but nothing like the kids he dreamed of coming back to. Liv is sneaking out of the house late at night and Grandma has a collection of squirrel torture porn and homemade explosives. Pets and livestock are disappearing at an increasing rate. You really can’t go home again, especially when it’s being eaten by GMO killer squirrels.
We won’t be able to do a release party until after my surgery, I’m sure, but everyone can chow down on fresh-baked cookies, milk, and squirrel jerky in their own homes to celebrate. If you do, I want pictures.
I would like to thank all the fine people that have reached out to Kit and myself in the last few days through social media and in real life. As the “quiet” half of the single socioeconomic unit KitandJosef, I’ve long thought myself the invisible support structure behind the real star. I now see how many of you do see me and are concerned for my well-being. Many of you are concerned for Kit, who is really much more frightened than I am. I’ll take that.
As I try to keep my ass from kicking me, I will try to be a better friend, co-worker, and relative. All I can say is thank you very much. I’ll keep in touch.
Next time, I’ll make it funny…
(This may be a long way, but there is an important announcement at the end. Scroll to the bottom if you impatient. The crux of this post is the bottom.)
I was feeling pretty good last week. My years long problem with indoor allergies and asthma at the work place seemed to be getting under control. My fatigue and drowsiness from whatever toxins were in the ventilation system seemed to be getting better and the Company Nurse was even making arrangements for the company to pay for my air cleaner and filters.
I had gone back to counseling to deal my depression issues. He told me it was more like disthymia and PTSD, but we got a handle on it with additional meds and cognitive therapy. That, and I just started doing things that made me happy. I spent time with my wife not staring at adjacent screens on the couch. I took control of my books and even republished my first novel. I put it on Amazon with a great new cover; a handful sold the first week to total strangers on both sides of the Atlantic.
I was astoundingly close to happy, a position I had not allowed myself to be in for years.
Then, came the colonoscopy.
I had one five years before, and, just like then, the prep was the worst part of it. The day before you must stick to a clear fluid diet. The night before, you drink a gallon of some noxious fluid to clear the colon/small intestine of all fecal matter. This will let the candid colon camera inspect the walls and ceiling down there. The prep fluid is refrigerated, because at room temperature the motor oil on dead dog taste is too much to bear. For several hours I drank almost the whole gallon and spent much of the night squirting prep fluid out my ass. Kit and I made it to the doctor’s office by seven a.m..
I had planned to tell my co-workers what had happened to me when I returned to work. It would have gone something like this:
“I stayed up all night drinking, and then I got waylaid by a bunch of people in masks. They drugged me and started sticking things up my butt. What’s worse, they took pictures!”
I would have told my co-workers that the next day, but the technicians found something: A white mass, about 2 centimeters long, low in the colon. I would have been even more concerned if it had been a black mass. I never allow satanists near my colon.
The discovery led to a quick succession of tests. There was much poking and prodding and needling. I received a CAT scan with contrast and the next day developed hives as a reaction to the dye. In the end, my end, the results indicated the best bad news I could have. I have colon-rectal cancer, though the test results indicate a slow-growing tumor that may have stayed entirely in its place. After a few more tests, the doctors and we will decide the best course of action. Surgery, chemo, and radiation may all come into play. It will be a stressful few months. Some of them I may spend flat on my back. But this is far better than the prognosis if I had avoided the test as I wanted to.
There’s much more to this story, and I’ll try my best to make it a comedy.
There are few things more neuroses-affirming for a writer than having no books to sell. Except, of course, for everything else about a writer’s life. I have finally remedied that problem.
I have books to sell.
The rights to my Arcanum Faire trilogy reverted from Post Mortem Press in Feburary. After a thorough reformatting and error scouring (Toolcat 5600s do not actually have six wheels), my first book “Camp Arcanum” is back online. It has a colorful and energetic cover produced by the comic artist Seth Lyons. I can’t do much about the words underneath it.
The navigation through the KDP publishing system was a bit more involved than I expected. No-one died, though. Both the e-book and the trade paperback versions are live. Somehow, in less than twenty-four hours, I already sold an e-book. It couldn’t have been my mother. She is in that great stained glass workshop in the sky.
Whoever it is that had such good taste, or fearless reading habits, I thank you. I invite the rest of my friends and family to pop over and check it out. See the pretty cover, check inside so you can send me a list of typos and errors.
And, if you’ve already read or reviewed the first edition, feel free to do the same for number two. Even reprints need a little love.