RIP, Summer 2019: 2019-2019

This summer sucked, and now it’s over. Which is the rough equivalent of complaining about both the taste and the portion size of your food, but such is life at the moment, I suppose.

It would be a joke if it weren’t so close to undeniable truth: I have previously said, in this space and elsewhere, that 2016 was easily the worst year of my life, and I usually pair that observation with the comment that it feels odd to me to be able to so easily pinpoint something like that. 2019 thus far has handed 2016 its beer, lit itself on fire and jumped off a cliff, and there are still four and a half months of this impossibly miserable soul-sucking bastard of a year left. I wanted to get a novel written this summer; that became a sad joke so fast that it’s barely even worth reminding everyone of. My total fiction output for the entire summer probably did not reach 10,000 words, and the book got a page-one rewrite anyway before I gave up on the entire idea.

I have mostly been talking about this on Patreon due to my somewhat less public profile over there (and the fact that no actual relatives subscribe to me on Patreon) but there have only been perhaps three or four days since April 26 where I did not have at least one if not both of my parents in some sort of medical facility, either an actual hospital or an inpatient physical rehab place. My dad is home– still having issues, but home– and my mother is due to be released Tuesday. I will be in my classroom all week, my first contractual day is Wednesday, and the students return on Thursday.

I, along with every teacher on Earth, only very rarely begin the school year genuinely feeling ready for school to start, and even when I am I’m more likely than not to at least joke about mourning the end of summer. I am less prepared, on every level– emotionally, mentally, physically, curricularly, you name it– for school to start right now than I have ever been in my life. I feel like returning to work in general may actually be making a mistake right now. That said, I have about a month worth of money left in the bank– just enough to make it to my first paycheck of the next school year– so it’s not like I have a choice.

I am very, very strongly considering making an appointment with my doctor to go back on my brain meds. The only problem with that idea is that I probably won’t be able to get an appointment for a few weeks and even once I do the first month on Lexapro all I want to do is sleep and I don’t think that’s a thing I can have going on during the first grading period of a new job at a new school. So “tough it out” is going to have to be a strategy for dealing with mental illness, I suppose.

I can’t pretend to be excited about this year– not right now. The best I can hope for at this point is survival. We’ll see how it goes.

In which I can’t really cope today

CR-Health-AH-Supplements_ss-Drugs-11-15I mentioned a few days ago that I took a Clonazepam the night of the election because the stress had gotten too thick to operate through, and after not touching the stuff for a couple of years it’s not impossible that I’ll decide to take another tonight.  The event didn’t go well yesterday at all — or, at least, was a crashing financial disaster, although some good things are going to end up coming from it, there were literally more authors present than there were people who wanted to buy books.  I’m not mad about it, necessarily, but it was a long damn weekend.  Today was an immensely stressful day at work, and the majority of that stress was due to various acts of incompetence on my part that I can’t even pretend to lay at anyone else’s feet.  And the rest of it, that isn’t part of that majority … well, it’s bad, and I can’t fucking talk about it right now for a variety of reasons.

The books still haven’t shipped, by the way, so Amazon’s blown past the most recent of their guarantees as of today.  The site now says I’ll get them on Friday, which will be six days shy of a month since these books– which are print-on-demand, remember– were ordered.

And Stan Lee died.  And … I just can’t.  The guy was 95 and he’s been in poor health for a long time but Stan Lee cannot be dead right now.  The last few days have been too fucking exhausting; I can’t process it.

So, yeah.  It may be time for another Clonazepam tonight.  After I finish typing this I plan to spend at least an hour with a kitten sleeping on my chest; we’ll see if that works first.  But if not?  Yeah, bring the brain pills on.

Goddammit

anigif_enhanced-27989-1443109445-7I’ve posted, what, five times in all of May so far?  Something like that, and half of them were useless?  I don’t know if I’m depressed or what but I’ve just had nothing to say lately.  Well, that’s not quite true– I have a bunch of posts I’d sort of like to write but as soon as I actually sit down in front of a computer I’d rather do anything but write.  I haven’t written a word of fiction or drawn a picture in probably over a month.  I’ve got a damn convention coming up in a few weeks.  It occurred to me the other day that I probably ought to check my stock on my books and place a restock order, and Createspace is not fast, guys, and the entire thought was just too exhausting to even seriously think about.

So, yeah, a brief list of posts I might write, if I was actually in possession of the necessary headspace to do any such thing:

  • A review of Robert McCammon’s Swan Song, which someone recommended to me, someone whose identity I can no longer recall, a book which is so terrible that it deserves to be torn to shreds here;
  • A review of the magnificent God of War for PS4, which I beat today and is easily the best game of this generation that I’ve played;
  • I came really close last night to writing a post about how I wanted to start a Patreon and a podcast and had cool ideas for both but that would require optimism and creative energy and at the moment I have neither;
  • A music post, since I’ve downloaded a lot of good albums lately;
  • A pre-review of The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, which I’m reading right now.  Actually, let’s do this right now: go buy this book and read it.  I didn’t get enough sleep last night because I couldn’t put it down.  It’s really something special.

I dunno what’s going on, but it’d be cool if I could snap the fuck out of it.

Some odds and ends and also swear words

crappy-dayIt’s been a depressing couple of weeks, honestly.  A bunch of things that haven’t managed to make their way into entire posts yet:

  • I didn’t get the job at my old district, which blows my goddamned mind.  Blows. My. Goddamned. Mind.  I’m trying to avoid, y’know, despair at this point.  I’ve applied for another job at Notre Dame; Notre Dame has already done a really good job of ignoring my applications in the past so I have no particular hope for this one.
  • There’s another local university, by the way, that I’ve sent several applications in to for various jobs, all of which I was very qualified for, that has literally never replied to a single application.  Not a no-thanks, not a fuck-you, not an interview offer, nothing.  I wanna know who the hell they’re hiring.
  • I read Hillary Clinton’s book.  I wasn’t going to at first until I realized how many assholes were enraged by the fact that the book existed and I enjoy being able to make even a tiny contribution to making that kind of person feel bad.  I can’t really say I enjoyed reading it, though, because the whole damn thing was so profoundly depressing.
  • Every time I come even close to writing a post about politics I start literally seeing red around the edges of my vision.  I thought I hated George W. Bush; I had no idea what it was like to hate a politician until this current piece of shit.  None.  I would name George W. Bush dictator-for-life in a second if it meant I never had to hear the current fucker’s name again for as long as I lived.
  • Fuck the NFL, while I’m at it, and fuck America for everything leading up to me having to say the words “Fuck the NFL” on my blog.  This current controversy is everything wrong with America in a nutshell.  And America as a country is as completely and enthusiastically fucked right now as it has been in my lifetime.
  • I’m stealing the phrasing of this from Twitter, I admit, but if we can’t get an overwhelming military presence to Puerto Rico immediately to put together some sort of hurricane response than we have no fucking reason to have a military at all. Trillions of fucking dollars a year and we may as well flush the shit down the toilet. The shitgibbon doesn’t care; Puerto Ricans aren’t white.  I doubt he knows they’re American citizens; I’m certain he doesn’t think they’re people.
  • Speaking of Hillary’s book: you may be aware that I previously had a point of pride that I had at least one book for or by every President of the United States.  I have now had to amend that to every legitimately elected President of the United States, and this is a picture of my Presidency bookshelf.  The book is located where it properly belongs:

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  • Sales on Tales haven’t been remotely what I’ve wanted them to be so far, but I got a big stack of paperbacks this week for Kokomo-Con 2017 in a couple of weeks and that was pretty exciting.  I haven’t done a con in quite a while and this one is just a simple one-day thing a couple of hours south of my house.  I’m looking forward to it.
  • I need to decide what my next book is going to be.  I’m leaning toward knocking out the Skylights sequel finally but it may be something new.  We’ll see.
  • Speaking of big stacks of paperbacks: the Buy Autographed Books link in the masthead of the site has been completely updated.  I price the books cheaper than Amazon does but it probably evens out after shipping– but you get an autograph and a personalized copy, so bleah.
  • Speaking of the Amazon: consider this the part where I’m begging for reviews.  Please?  Pretty please?

MOAR WHINING!

tumblr_nkx7ovQvDL1rnma1do1_400…actually, first things first: I’m trying to give some books away today and tomorrow.  They’re all right here if you’re interested.  Still making you buy Balremesh and other stories, though.


It’s been a rough day all around; I’ve been trying to get the house beaten into shape so it doesn’t look like it’s been Lord of the Flies here all week while my wife’s been out of town.  I’m at the point where I’m going to shave the fucking dog bald; it’s not actually been all that hot a summer, but I think she’s actually developing allopecia as she ages– there is no excuse for the amount of shedding she’s been doing lately, and I’m worried that by the time my wife gets home tomorrow night it’s going to not only look like I never brushed her, it’s going to look like I never vacuumed either.  Is that a thing that happens to dogs?  I swear she’s never shedded remotely as much as she does now.

I actually got a fair amount done over the last couple of days, which is generally the standard by which I judge my weekends; the concept of “relaxation” being more or less completely foreign to me.  It was a Good Weekend if I got a lot of shit done.  It was not if I didn’t.  This weekend’s been accompanied by a bit more headfuckery than I’ve had to put up with in the year and a half or so since I stopped teaching, but I think that’s just because I feel like I’m under deadline pressure to make the place look like a half-capable adult lives here.  We’ll see.

There is also a distinct chance that I should seriously consider going back on my brain meds, but I’m trying to ignore that at the moment.

I caught the premiere episode of The Strain last night, which I found pretty compelling, so I’m watching the second right now.  I may or may not write a few paragraphs of fiction while I’m watching it but I’m not going to hold my breath about it.  After that, sleep, and hopefully no kicks in the kidneys tonight.

Wife’s back tomorrow night.  Alhamdollilah.