Friday, 7 December 2018

Unmental Health

I've been rather poorly for a long time. Ooh, about twenty years? Probably longer, but about that since they put a label on it. Used to be called Schizoaffective Disorder. Now I think they just stopped beating about the bush and call it Schizophrenic Affective Disorder. It's a doozy, but it's not a competition. If you're poorly in the head, I feel for you, son. x

Things fall apart. The centre cannot hold. That covers it pretty well.

I try to post about my brain hobby every now and then in the hope that it helps someone else. I don't do it for cathartic reasons. Talking about it doesn't help me. But it does help other people to speak openly about mental illness, and I think it helps combat the stigma attatched to mental illnesses, too. I don't give a fuck, because I live in a shed. A lot of people do, however, because they struggle with not only mental illness, but also with others perceptions of their mental illness.

Sometimes people say they wish they had my life. I sit in a shed, listen to music, write all day. Idylic, right?

Well, I don't watch TV because I hear voices and sometimes it's confusing. I nearly never leave the house because of anxiety and paranoia. I write all day because I'm intelligent and that intellect is sometimes an enemy which needs to be focused outside of myself.

I take care to even think nice thoughts just in case someone can read the bad ones. Keeps me nice, sure, but it's not the greatest, if I'm honest.

I was reaching what's called a crisis point, so I got my crisis pills. They're the ones I only take when it's all falling apart. I only take them then because they make me happy, and floaty, but also sleepy. If you're asleep all the time, you can't really function. I asked the doctor once how people with schizophrenia worse than mine cope - they don't, was his reply. It's largely an all or nothing deal. Schizoaffective is slightly lighter, I guess. Maybe. It's kind of a mix with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, so there's a middle ground where I can function, on a limited basis. But to do that? I prioritise. My priority is my family, and then work. If I can manage those, then it's as good as it's going to get.

It's not a secret, and it's not 'brave' me telling you this's not 'brave', because I'm putting nothing on the line by talking about it. But what is brave is those people who struggle daily to put food on the table when they want to curl into a ball. Those people who wear long sleeves and long dresses to hide the scars they cut and burn to feel something. Those people who get up and leave the house when they really want an errant bus to hit them so they might take a day or two off instead.

Anyone coping with mental illness - any illness, not just mental, because it's all the body really - is brave, and doing their best. It's not a free pass to be a dick, and you're an adult, right? So you still try. Sometimes you fail. Sometimes you succeed. You do your best, just like everyone else.

But if you're ill, if you're on the edge, or over it, or in the pit, or don't even know where you are...someone does love you. You are not alone. You might be able to carry on, to do might not. But you're not alone.


Unless, of course, you want to be. Don't worry. There is literally zero chance of me knocking on your door unannounced. Or ever. Or calling. Or texting. Trust me, I will leave you alone, so you don't need to stress about me. ;)

Love you, and love you all. Be cool.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Why HORROR is the Big Cahuna of Genre Fiction.

Because it ends in death. Doesn't matter what it is, horror's everywhere. It's omniscient. It's what waits for all of us, the shadow behind the fragile mirror we see ourselves through while we're alive, balanced on a knife's edge. It's the thought of our illicit romance being brought to light, the terror of the unknown and the wide, seemingly endless expanse of space. It's the fear, facing down a dragon with wit and blade alone. Horror is death, and terror, and pain, and that's consistent for all life. A shadow hidden beneath broad black wings which wait to unfurl at the final hurdle for all adventurers in life.

That's the lie, isn't it? That the hero, the main character, the protagonist, might get out alive. They won't. They can't. Death, the unreliable narrator, tell us the character won out against the eldritch monsters, the serial killer, the slasher, the alien threat, the joy of exploration whether of a new lover or a new planet or a dark, dank cave.

But we don't. No one gets out alive. Death's there at the end. He's not unreliable at all; we are. We lie to ourselves in our fiction. He's the one waiting on us all. The universal truth. He never lied about that.

Everything ends with decay and we can't fight the inexorable pull of those dread black wings.

He's the last lover we'll know, the true final frontier, and we're all designed to fail, no matter how many times we might win.

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance and all you zombies, all you contenders, go ahead and try and put horror in a corner. You can't. It'll still be there. Death can't die. Can't be beat.

Run, will catch you, and there ain't no coming back, man. There ain't no coming back.

Love you.


Monday, 19 November 2018

Thank you - 100,000 visits!

That's at a rate of around visit a year over 100,000 years, but nevermind that. Thank you for putting up with my nonsense.

Rather than prattle on about me, me, me, I thought I'd share some of the stuff I've been reading over the last year. I try only to mention things or people I enjoy.

Frederick Douglass
Pat Cadigan
Neal Asher
Ernest Hemmingway
Isaac Asimov
Ursula Le Guin
Cory Doctorow
Ian Creasey
Elizabeth Bear
Langston Hughes
Carl Sagan
Tim Lebbon
Alexandre Dumas
Kurt Vonnegut Jr
Karl Marx
Isaac Newton
Graham McNeill
James S. A. Corey
William Gibson
Martha Wells
Kameron Hurley
Yoon Ha Lee

That'll do. It's not a recommended reading list or anything, just some people whose thoughts and stories I've enjoyed.

Love you. x

Here's a picture. It's not mine. It's by Sergey Kondratovich. I just like robots.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Red Ice Run sold out

I don't know what I'm expecting when I write a book, but it's always a surprise when people buy or read them. Red Ice Run, a little mobsters versus vikings novel with Ryan C. Thomas went to Thunderstorm Books for a limited run and sold out. That's pretty cool.

They're beautiful things, too. If you have one, thank you very much for buying it, and thanks to Thunderstorm and of course Ryan, too. 

Love you.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Lore Audio coming soon

I approved the audio for Lore, read by Mike Fallek, so as soon as it's cleared through ACX it'll be available for purchase from Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.

Mike's Bio: 

Mike Fallek studied film and voices his own pet documentary mostly focused on pet history (Hamsters: The History, and Spiders Will Eat Your Face) because animals cannot write it themselves. His films have appeared on tv, are available in libraries, and are featured on many online platforms. Mike is a podcaster of note with a weekly audience into the 7,000 plus listeners. Also an animator, all of Mike's work commercial and independent plus contact information can be found on

Lore's available permafree as an eBook, as a paperback, and the link's here if you want to read the words on paper or screen:

or on Amazon where you are.