Floating with Me, Myself, and I

Curiosity and self-loathing can be a dangerous combination.

I was listening to Spontaneanation, one of my favorite podcats, the other day. On it, Paul F. Tompkins was interviewing Derek Waters of Drunk History fame, and the subject of sensory deprivation tanks came up.  Mr. Waters was recounting his recent visit to a spa which specialized in sensory deprivation, er, treatment (?). I became intrigued. Most everything I knew about sensory deprivation came from that old movie, Altered States. Wasn’t getting into a sensory deprivation tank somewhat dangerous? More importantly, I thought, was there a place in town where I could try it? I opened up a Google search on “sensory deprivation tank Columbus OH” and dove into the resulting rabbit hole. Continue reading

Life After Ashes: A Charity Anthology

Steven M Saus, head of Alliteration Ink, is putting together a charity anthology to raise money for Greg Campbell, a writer, Navy veteran, and single parent. You see, Greg recently lost everything in a house fire. This fire happened not long after his wife died. I can’t imagine the strain such back to back tragedies would cause. Greg’s relatives set up crowdfunding campaign to help get him back on his feet. The details of it can be found here.

I’ve put my money where my mouth is and donated to the cause. More than that, I’ve given Steven permission to reprint my story, “Fangirl”, in the anthology. Even if you already own a copy of Sidekicks!, I urge you to consider purchasing this anthology. Those who contribute $25 or more will receive a copy of Life After Ashes. This book will have stories from over 50 authors including Lucy A Snyder, Nisi Shawl, Gary Graunbeck, and Tobias Buckell.

More details can be found on Alliteration Ink’s tumbler page here.

The fundraiser only has 17 more days left. After February 2nd, the book will not be available again. Even if you can’t afford $25, please consider donating what you can. Thank you!

Good Riddance

There’s no other way to say it. 2014 was terrible for me. I lost Chaos, who was my best friend outside of my wife, to cancer. My wife had to have surgery on her foot. Despite our health insurance, this resulted in a flood of medical bills that taxed our finances after paying for Chaos’s treatment. And then, thanks to the policies of my wife’s employer, all the work done by the surgery was reversed because my wife was faced with the choice of either going back to work too soon or be unemployed. Our year in health finished out by me learning that someone very near and dear to my heart has a terminal illness they have been hiding from everyone. Continue reading

A Glowing Sidekicks! Review

I tend to avoid reviews of my own work because I already have enough self-esteem issues. However, at the urging of Steve Saus, I checked out this review of Sidekicks!  posted by The Little Red Reviewer.

Not only did she give the anthology high marks, but she specifically called out “Fangirl” as one of her favorites. In lieu of everything that’s been happening lately, it really brightened my mood. Thanks Redhead!

For the Love of Chaos – Beginnings

The bear of a man looked at the tiny brown and white puppy in his arms, and I thought for sure he was going to cry.

“Aw,” he said, “I was kinda hoping you were gonna take Cowboy. Gus here has become my teevee-watchin’ buddy. Haven’t ya?”

He tickled the corgi under his chin and the puppy’s big brown eyes came up and met his. The breeder blinked and thrust the little dog into my step-son’s waiting arms.

“Good-bye, buddy.” Continue reading

Update on Chaos, Oct 26th, 2013

We took Chaos to MedVet yesterday afternoon for a consultation with their radiation oncology department. They gave Chaos a thorough examination and went over all his recent medical records, including the x-rays and blood work. We then sat down with the head of the department for the next two hours and talked about the cancer and our options.

First off, they showed us the CT scan of the tumor. Continue reading

Metastasis Interview and an Update on Chaos

A few weeks back I was interviewed by writer/editor Rhonda Parrish regarding my story in Metastasis. The interview has been posted on her website this morning. You can check it out here.

Also I wanted to share how Chaos is doing. The biopsy results came back. He has a nasal transitional carcinoma. This is a malignant cancer for which there is no cure. It tends to claim dogs pretty fast if left untreated. Already we’re seeing changes in Chaos energy level. When he breathes, he sounds congested. Luckily, chest x-rays appear to show that the cancer has not yet spread to the other parts of his body. We’re taking him in to see an oncologist later this week to discuss treatment options. I understand that radiation can be used to temporarily halt the progress of the disease and shrink the tumor, thus giving a dog better quality of life for the time he has left.

What doesn’t help, though, are the dozens of “doctors” pushing forward quack theories on the internet. There is no shortage of fiends who will use your fears and lack of knowledge to push their political views and untested herbal products on you. I don’t have time to get into it now, but I’m super fucking pissed at some of the stuff I’m reading.