Onto the Next One

I came across this article yesterday. A particular quote from Democratic congresswoman and former CIA analyst Elissa Slotkin jumped out at me more than anything else in the piece. Her words, “The post-9/11 era is over. The single greatest national security threat right now is our internal division,” gave me pause. I shook my head because what she either fails to realize or decided not to say for political reasons is that our internal division is directly related to a lot of the rhetoric that came out of the post-9/11 War on Terror. The terrorists won, guys. They won a long time ago.

I’m not an overtly political person. I do have beliefs and I do vote, but my skepticism for anyone who’s reached elected official status runs deep. Still, I observe and I listen and I remember.

2020 was a nightmare year, but we can’t pretend it grew out of nothing.

I believe in consequences. I believe in cause and effect. Every action causes a reaction.

This is not a political post. My goal is not to change the world. Revolutionaries always die, and often horribly. My goal is to evolve myself. Act with purpose. Assess potential consequences. Inspire those who care to listen.

I’ve been off booze for over two months. I’ve been 90% off social media for almost as long. These things have yielded a ton of time and mental space. How will I fill this time and space?

With purpose. Intent. Goals.

I’m ascending. Onto the next one, as Jay-Z says.

Let’s grow together.

Saturday Morning, 12/19

No thesis for the blog this morning. Just updates.

Ten minutes. That’s about as long as I spend on Twitter each day. That’s about all I can stand. During those ten minutes, I promote what I need to promote, and then I check in with a select few people whose feeds I find interesting. Shoutouts to Clare, Autumn, Eve, Chandler, and Joe. I’m so much better having limited my time in that dreadful place.

Writing time this weekend will be dedicated to my paranormal romance between a woman and a world-eating blob from outer space. It’s a collaboration between myself and Wile E. Young who you should all be reading.

I’m currently reading HITMAN, the autobiography of wrestler Bret Hart. It was published over a decade ago, but I never got around to reading it due to its intimidating page count. It’s nice to be finally diving in. Hart wrote the book himself, unlike many in his field who use ghostwriters. He has a matter-of-fact, Hemingway-like prose style. It’s a very engaging peek behind the curtain of pro-wrestling from the territory days to the early-2000s, as well as a touching portrait of his tumultuous relationship with his father and eleven (!) siblings.

Speaking of wrestling and writing. PANDEMONIUM, a book cowritten by myself and Ryan Harding, hit the (virtual) shelves this week. You can read it for free on Kindle Unlimted or grab it on paperback. I’ve wanted to write a wrestling book since I entered the publishing game, but the right idea eluded me. All that changed after I revisited the DEMONS franchise. Produced by legend Dario Argento and directed by luminaries like Lamberto Bava and Michele Soavi, these Italian films contain all manner of demonic carnage. After exchanging some emails with Ryan, we decided to write a tribute to those flicks set in the world of hardcore wrestling. It’s the most fun I’ve had writing anything, and I think that will translate for readers.

I’ve also been playing Phasmophobia on Steam. If you’re into co-op ghost-hunting, you’ll probably enjoy it quite a bit. I’m still learning the ropes. I’m not much of a gamer, but there are some games I do genuinely love.

Anyway, I’m going to try to do these more often, so stay tuned.

Extinction Peak-A Novel of Dinosaur Horror

I’m about to make what will likely be one of my final passes on Extinction Peak, my dinosaur horror novel. Some of my work comes from my subconscious and flows rather easily. This book was not one of them. I wrote the first draft almost five years ago. The version that exists today has only the title in common with that old draft.

Weirdly, this book will likely be more fun to read than some of my other titles. It relies heavily on world-building and action, not symbology and style. That’s not to say it lacks depth. If you’re looking for it, my thesis will present itself. That’s all I’ll say about that for now.

Jeff Burk made it official the Monday after Killer Con, so I’ll announce it here: Extinction Peak is set for publication in 2020 by his new press Section 31 Productions.

The Social Cesspool

I’m sporadically posting on Twitter again. I almost returned to Facebook tonight. It’s hard not to see both moves as signs of defeat. I’m giving thoughts on how I can use both platforms in the way I used to enjoy using them. For example, I used to genuinely like interacting with people on a limited basis regarding books and movies that I enjoyed, or books and movies I could discover based on the recommendations of others.

As I began to take my writing career more seriously, using these websites became more and more of a task (with little reward, I might add). On top of that, I found myself getting more and more negative the more I continued to use these platforms (Facebook, in particular). When scrolling either Facebook or Twitter, I found myself feeling one of two things: I was either bored or angry. Neither of these emotions are things I care to feel. While I do take a small amount of pride in my crankiness (hence the name of this website), I don’t consider myself an out and out angry person.

But now, as more of my books are starting to see release, I’m feeling incredibly anxious. How will they do now that I’ve, for all intents and purposes, left the conversation? The publisher of the new edition of my collection made mention that I’m not on Facebook, and it made me feel, I dunno, weird. I’m sure he didn’t mean it in a passive-aggressive way, but still. It made me wonder: am I missing out on potential sales?

The truth? I don’t know. I mean, maybe?

If I return, which I might (despite the statement I made in my initial blog post), I need to do things differently. I’ve considered hiring someone, but frankly, I can’t afford it. I’m thinking the best thing to do is to set an alert on my phone to check both platforms once a week and post something, but then ignore the sites the remaining six days. It seems to make the most sense for me, but I don’t know. We’ll see.

Does anyone have thoughts on this? If so, I’d love to hear them.