Don’t call it yet…

She said to the doctor, who had just turned his wrist to take note of the time. The time of death.

So it’s been about three months with no updates here, I’ve been busy with the third draft of my first novel. It’s going well and coming together. I should be finished with the draft next month and after that I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do. I did have a rough plan for the year earlier that was very ambitious, it included starting two new novels and finishing their first drafts this year. Yeah that’s not going to happen. The second half of this year is going to be a lot busier than the first half. I think editing and revising and getting the book into a presentable state for agents is going to be all I will be able to handle. And the more I think about it the more it makes sense to keep it simple in the writing side seeing as everything else is going to be hectic and overwhelming and I need to be present for it all.
Over the next week or so, I will be posting more content to get the ball rolling on the blog again. I have reviews of things in the works. First up is reviews of episodes of the new show THE CROSSING. As of writing this, I’m only a couple episodes into it (I’m about a month behind) but spoiler— I really like it so far. Tomorrow I will be posting at least the first. I also have a couple other things that are in the pipeline. I don’t think I’ll be doing book reviews nor will I be tackling big/popular things. I don’t feel the need to share my take on the latest blockbuster. I have a few ideas for things that are more popular but they are less reviews and more personal takes on things (could you be any more vague?).
The plan is as it was before to have more of presence here. I will be writing about different topics and things about my own writing process. I have one about my ideas on crafting a story that is coming.
Music is a big part of my life and I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to approach reviewing albums which is something I want to do.
Thinking about it now, I consume so many things.

Fun fact: it’s been three years since I completed the first draft of my first novel. And a year since I started the second draft. I wonder what next May will bring!

Thank you for reading.

27th October 2017

I had so many ideas of how to do it like I’m sure most people do. On the 26th I thought of doing it in this sort of little park nearby it. Park might be a strong word. It was a little spot with trees and a little fence and playscape, complete with a solitary streetlight. I could see us being there, coming home after a little light grocery shopping. I brought the ring with me but we came back a different way and there was no way for me to carry the bags and wrestle the little ring free. We always end up with more than we intended. See book store trips from September 2016. I was a little disappointed but it was that night I decided when I’d do it.
We had made plans to finally go up the mountain where the giant cross resides and I figured that was perfect. Because the ring looks better in the daylight and there’d be a memorable locale. Pretty much anywhere in Skopje, you can see the cross on the mountaintop.
Friday morning, we made our way up. Bus ride to the park where the cable cars reside, we rode the swinging things up. My first thought was damnit there are so many people.
We had lunch looking down at the countryside and I was reminded of the woods near my childhood home and all those times I’d sit and wish I had someone by my side. I looked at her and again for the millionth time I remembered how I never thought I’d be this lucky. Throughout my life I’ve gone through waves, for every great person that has enriched my life there’s a legion of others that make me embarrassed to be a person.
Most people I wouldn’t drive ten minutes down the road for.
On the mountain, I noticed an area that wasn’t so densely populated with strangers and I steered her that way. Because sure, I wouldn’t mind being that guy at the airport on his knee but she would. We found a place to sit and in my jacket pocket I’m fighting the little plastic bag the ring was in. I was quietly freaking out because plastic is loud and she’s going to hear and also WHAT IF I DROP IT CUZ THESE DAMN SWEATY PALMS?
IT’S SIMPLE. DO NOT DROP IT.
At the same time I’m thinking about this rock I used to sit on that was in the woods near where I grew up, it overlooked the street and in a way it felt like I was there again, but with her.
Then a new pang of fear: what if she doesn’t love the ring?
The only thing that saved me here was she was occupied by her phone. Finally, I got the ring out of the little plastic baggie. Godamn I should have thought this through.
Spoiler: She loved (and loves) the ring.
She was surprised and she didn’t notice my scrambling or the plastic bag trouble.

I love her. She’s worth traveling across the world for. Again and again. Until we don’t have to leave anymore.

When we finally rode our own cable car down, we waited so long because we wanted our own, our perfect day on the mountain became super perfect when we met this delightful gang of trouble.

But then the bus driver was late, just proof that there’s always a Richard around.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to my love. And to everyone else reading this too. Wait for the love you want, the love you deserve.

Five Years in a Flash – 03 Lungs

I love smoking. I’m not sure if I should make that past tense or not because I’m not sure how to feel about it now. I don’t miss it. But I always fucking loved it. Was it the taste of death? I don’t know. Was it how it always kept me on the outside of things? People always look down and cough from 100 feet away. I always took offense to that. After quitting, I understand. Having quit, the smell and everything is so loud and noxious.

Another thing that is very interesting is how easy it is to judge a smoker now that I’ve quit.  It’s something I have to remind myself to hold in and cast away because it’s really easy to say “hey you should quit.” And next to impossible for most people to actually do so.

But at the same time I find it incredibly hard to wrap my head around the difficulty people have quitting when they have reasons to quit—actual motivating reasons like small children.  I know I would have never quit for just the money side of things because why give up something that you like and benefit from to save money?  That’s ridiculous.

Oh, you got hung up on the use of benefit there? I use it loosely there but in a way it is true. The act of smoking is a curious thing because more and more it’s out the outside of acceptable. In Connecticut, there’s like one place you can still smoke inside of.  To smoke is to get away from what you’re doing. They say smoke break but what they mean is life break. You have to physically break away from whatever you’re doing to smoke and that’s nice. Rough day at work? A quick smoke can alleviate a lot of that. For me, I know it was a shield. A lit cigarette can and does keep many people away. I suppose that says a lot about me.

But after giving up drinking, taking better care of myself snowballed. That’s the point. One thing leads to another. And another. Years of hurting myself with another and another and another and I figured out how to help myself with another and another and another.

The biggest thing that helped me quit smoking was when I pulled a muscle between my ribs. It felt more like chest pains than a pulled muscle and since it’s right there between the ribs, every breath is a pain. There’s a poem I wrote during the week of the chest busting pain (Yes, that’s how I described it to the doctor, he didn’t get it and I was sad.  Still am.) that I never published because it was going to be part of the abandoned third poetry collection. I just didn’t feel it necessary to do a third like I did for the first and the second.  But writing that helped me along the way to quitting. There was another poem I wrote that helped. I could list thing after thing but it all comes down to: I wanted to quit.

Too many people make the resolution to quit and by March they are sad and feel terrible about themselves for not sticking to it. The calendar doesn’t care about your false ambitions. If you don’t care then no one else will. But sometimes it helps if someone else does care and you can see yourself through their eyes. Seeing yourself through the eyes of someone that doesn’t mean anything to you doesn’t help. But if there’s someone, hell it could be your dog, that you care about deeply then it should be easy to see through their eyes.  It was and is for me.

It’s easier to hurt yourself when you feel unloved.

I smoked my first cigarette while listening to Gift by Taproot and I listened to the album again when I smoked my last cigarette. It was something the then current drummer, Nick, suggested I do. It was odd. The way my mind travelled with every inhale. Both the first and the last were stale terrible tasting cigarettes.

Some days, I miss it. I don’t miss the smell or the taste, I miss the act. I’m not sure exactly what it is. Maybe it’s just the quiet moment to reflect. Maybe it’s the fidgety nature, my hands want to be doing things—moving and shaking. Maybe it’s just that when things are gone the brain wants to miss them. Maybe it’s just my body missing the chemicals. I don’t think about it too much. Most days I don’t think about smoking or drinking at all. Or anything else I used to do to myself.

Every day I think about Aleks and about writing. It’s a simple life.

And it’s mine.

New eBook available now…

Armorless and Afraid is now available for your reading pleasure, look to the dedicated page via the link above or use the links listed below.  However if you have yet to read my first eBook I would encourage you to do so before reading Armorless, what I’m doing here is a series of sorts.  I think each stands on their own but it is my intention that one reads MER before Armorless.  Armorless and Afraid is very much like a My Enveloping Reflection part 2, I just didn’t want the the titles to be so redundant and each of these collections is quite different.

My Enveloping Reflection is about figuring out how to move forward and what moving forward means to me while Armorless and Afraid is about moving forward and dealing with obstacles that presented themselves after I made a choice to change.  Specifically these books are about self-inflicted abuse and trying to put an end to it by looking at myself objectively and truthfully as I write these words I’m in a much better mental state than I was when I began writing these 2 books.  My life very well may be the best it’s ever been.

MER was released last September and I am still really pleased with how it was received by those that read it and right now it is available as a free download via Amazon.  It is free until August 5th and you don’t need an actual Kindle to view it, there are Kindle Reading Apps for your smartphone and PC.  Armorless and Afraid is available on Amazon for the low price of $0.99 as well as a free PDF from my blog direct to you.  No strings, spyware free and of course additive free.  The PDF, like the Kindle options, is readable on most devices.  There are PDF viewer apps available for your smartphone and of course there’s Adobe Reader (also free) for your PC.

The wonderful covers as well as the banner for my blog were designed by Mike DeWolf.  Thanks again Mike!

Thank you to all that take the time to read what I write.  I appreciate it more than you know.  The future is bright for those that continue to follow along with what I do here.  Let’s just say my friend Axis has quite the story to share with you.  And there may be other surprises coming before the year is out.

 

Recognition: A little idea that could change a lot

I don’t know about anyone else but it does seem that things are getting out of control.  What am I thinking about, you ask?  Let me ask you a question first; What is the quickest and most certain way of attaining worldwide fame and recognition?

We find ourselves in a peculiar time, the digital age, where anything and everything is just a click away.  Legal or otherwise.  Then there’s that little thing known as Social Media, which has such an immediately noticeable draw.  Connectivity.  No matter what you are into there’s someone just a click away to talk to.  Which seems all well and good but there’s a fine line.

It appears that the only connections most know of is the one that enables them to plug-in and broadcast whatever it may be that they wish to broadcast.  There are people everywhere suffering and they find it so easy to share that hurt but it doesn’t seem to be in a constructive way.  There’s too much passive aggressive sharing inside of this tool that is awkwardly titled Social Media.  For every person out there trying to do something creative or constructive there are 20 more using it all as a way to vent at and abuse people.  I don’t understand how we can view this digital connectivity as something it is not.  We are all connected.  Digitally and physically.

Now to answer my own question from earlier: the easiest way to be recognized in this world is to become a villain.  I don’t know about anyone else but I am incredibly sick of seeing murderers plastered all over the place.  Someone unloads a gun upon innocent bystanders and turns the gun on themselves and voila!  Instant fame and this sick sort of praise.  I realize it is not meant to be praise but look around.  IT IS PRAISE.  Okay we all love to hate the villain, I mean Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight is something worth talking about again and again.  But that is fiction.  I think the line between reality and fantasy is blurring more by the hour.

I’m not saying that news outlets shouldn’t report on these tragedies.  They absolutely should but I don’t think it should be plastered on the front page of every newspaper or at the top of every news website.  I believe the way we speak of these incidents and allow “journalists” display them is encouraging more tragedies.  And it always seems that they leave out or overlook the good in these stories.  The people that sacrifice themselves for another person in the face of the terror.  Those people aren’t recognized or even mentioned.  If my life was directly impacted by one of these such events I know I wouldn’t want to see the face of the person that took a loved one’s life all over the news.  How does this sort of thing go on without anyone raising their voice?

I think it would be far better for everyone if we encouraged people to look on the brighter side of things.  Could we focus on the stories of the heroes that jumped in front of a person with a gun to save someone else’s life instead of the person behind the gun?  Why do you think depression is such a common thing?  Turn the TV on and there’s always some story about something horrible happening.  We all need hope and there’s stories that could and would boost people’s faith in humanity but instead we always focus on the villain, on the people not worthy of the attention.  We should focus on the people raising money to build 26 playgrounds across the state of Connecticut in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.  If all we see is the bad in people then it’s not all that shocking that so many find it easy to open fire on their fellow man.

I know I would find it incredibly beneficial to walk by a newsstand and see hopeful stories on the front page and I think you would too.  I am well aware that this post probably won’t reach the people I wish it would but that’s not the point here.  I wrote this because I felt I had to, I can’t keep it inside anymore and as I tap these last few keys on this keyboard I absolutely feel relieved.  If you read every word I wrote here, I hope you realize that I am glad you did.  Thank you.  And if you live in the US, I hope you have a happy Memorial Day.  Remember something good today.

My Enveloping Reflection – Epilogue

Last month I released my first collection of poetry, My Enveloping Reflection.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, I encourage you to do so.  I am proud of what I have put together, though I’m not so pleased with how long it took me to get it out on the mean streets of the internet.  But I can say that I am not sure that I could have finished it sooner than I did.

I don’t want to spend too much time talking about it and I don’t want to explain it all.  It’s better if I don’t hold your hand and analyze it all for you.  Though I do hope most understand what MER is about.  With that being said, I will say that within those 10 poems I have shared quite a bit of my life with the world.  MER covers events and feelings from high school all the way to this past March/April.  About 8 years of my life shaved down and encased in a small collection of poetry, in an attempt to escape the echoes of the past.  I’m sure it’s clear to most that there’s a focus on substance abuse but it’s not meant as a condemnation of said substances.  For me I had to shed that skin completely.  If I could sit and have a beer or two that would be nice but I can’t.  Two becomes twenty in no time and alcohol, as well as other drugs, corrupts my mind.  I have a severely addictive personality and a lot of times it comes in waves.  Take music for example, I can and often do listen to one artist exclusively for an entire week and the next week I am listening to something else and that previous artist won’t be heard again for months.  I’m losing sight of what I am writing… I could ramble on and on and take you down a wacky road only to lose you before we reach the destination I am trying to get to.

So I said that MER covers events up to April or so, right?  In other terms, it covers what led to the decision to quit drinking and the immediate aftermath.  Actually, it’s probably more like the beginning of March.  I am stuck with the idea of April because that is when I wrote “Admission into the Haze” which is a poem that is an artistic look at, for the lack of a better term, falling in love with drug abuse.

What I am saying is there is more to say and I have known that for quite some time, though the idea of a follow up has gone through different iterations over the past 6 months or so.  At this time I have a clear vision of what sort of direction to go with it.  Right now I am approaching 10 months of sobriety and it has not been easy.  There are some things I won’t share about the experience because not everything has poetic potential.   Quite a few people have told me that they appreciated how honest MER is and that kind of strikes me in a strange way because I made it a point to curtail my honesty.  I have written quite a few poems that can be called “brutally honest” and I can apply that term to some of the poems I have earmarked for the follow up but MER is more of an artistic kind of honesty.

Before I go, I’d like to apologize to anyone that has been waiting for some noise from me.  I promise that I am working on things for your reading enjoyment; your patience will not be spent in vain.  I will talk about what’s next very soon.

For now I will leave you with one little thought; there is structure in panic.

Thanks for reading!

-Ed

My Enveloping Reflection

Last year, after a rough couple days dealing/reliving a fairly distant memory I had to step outside myself and look around a little.  I had just written the poem that would later be titled “A Single Shard” and while I wrote it I had one of those moments of clarity.  I had convinced myself that dwelling on things was the proper protocol and perhaps it is for some things but it can’t be the rule of thumb for everything.  So I set out to try to find a different way and that is what my ebook “My Enveloping Reflection” is about.

It’s a very honest yet somewhat artistic look at things in my life.  Both present and past with a hope for the future.  There are quite a few subtle moments within that may be apparent to some but not all.  Some personal things that I have come out and said point blank in the past but I find that some mystery is a good thing.  I think I do that quite well.

I chose today to release it because of my friend Josh.  He passed away a little over 8 years ago and it wasn’t until last year that I truly felt like I had fully dealt with the whole thing.  Today would have been his 26th birthday.  There’s no mention of him within MER because it’s not about him.  It’s about me living and finding how to live.  Releasing it today is my way of showing him that I am grateful, that he still inspires me and in a sort of way this book is me saying “I won’t, I don’t have to go out that way.”  I think he showed me that the substance abuse, the alcohol abuse leads to only one thing.  It took me a long time to see that.  To really see that truth and embrace it.  Maybe you, whoever you are that is reading this, are someone who has one of those addictive personalities, let My Enveloping Reflection be proof that no one has to be a slave to whatever your vice is.  Though it’s not a how-to manual type thing, it’s my own venting expression.  This was written for myself, it’s how I deal with things.

I don’t exactly want to explain too much of what I wrote about within MER, I think it speaks for itself and I am very proud of it.  To the people that have been following along since I started this project, sorry it took so long.  There was no other way.  And thanks again to Mike DeWolf for the lovely cover art. 🙂

Without further rambling here it is:

.PDF file Mirror 1: http://www.mediafire.com/download/5hdekwut500fb9f/mer2.pdf

.PDF file Mirror 2:  http://www.sendspace.com/file/nyvq11 

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/My-Enveloping-Reflection-ebook/dp/B00F39VE7Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378917656&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble link: coming soon

If you experience any sort of issues, please let me know.  Also for mobile users’ convenience:

iPhone PDF viewer: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pdf-reader-iphone-edition/id368377690?mt=8

Android PDF viewer: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cx.hell.android.pdfview&hl=en