I Have Returned From BlizzCon 2017

Hey, folks.

I’m back from my adventure to BlizzCon 2017, and I have to say, it was nothing short of amazing.

I will be doing a write up soon, but there’s still a lot of unpacking and in vacation mode. I’d recommend popping by the weekend or such, and then there will be a shiny post about the lovely adventure (and, of course, pictures! Eyyy!).

I wish you all well and as usual…

Until next time,

RJM

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Next Week’s Topic: Toxicity

Hey, folks.

It’s Friday finally. While I am wrapping up a few things, I wanted to drop a note. I will be doing a wee bit about the toxicity of our lovely internet. Mostly it will be based on my experiences in online games and the start of my lovely scrapbook of what I call “Rage Whispers Galore.”

I know, you probably thought of System of a Down. Good stuff, yes, but no, that’s not what I am doing.

It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be exciting. It’s going to showcase the fine human beings that think that they are safe behind their computer (or phone) screens and are safe of disciplinary actions. There will be laughs. There will be tears. There will be mostly a lot of head shaking. . .and facepalming action.

I wish you all a great weekend. The princess cubs are hungry and well, it’s Pizza Friday. 😉

Until next time.

RJM

A Novelette: The Crystal Manor’s Secret

The Crystal Manor’s Secret

“Time heals all wounds,” he remembered someone saying. He thought it to be horse shit.

Simon is a 14-year-old dealing with plenty of things: depression, suicide attempts, parental issues, and being the subject of plenty of kids’ jokes at school. His parents take the advice of their son’s psychiatrist and go on a family vacation to the fabled Crystal Bay Estate.

This family trip, however, is anything but helpful. Read on to read the story in its entirety. Continue reading

A Poem and Post: Time

I have a story outlined in my massive stack of “Untold Tales: Volume X.” One of them, in which I will actually be finishing up here soon, is something along the lines of a double-edged sword. It’s sweet. It’s terrifying. It’s loving and caring. It’s selfish and damming. The end is coming, and life as we know it will cease to be. One man’s vision and in all of his smarts creates a time stasis field where he can live out the rest of his life with his family until the True End comes.

It probably sounds confusing because when you start involving time and getting all “timey-wimey.”

So, I figured I would have a piece dedicated to the inevitable friend and foe of us all, next to death. Time. It’ll appear again, soon.

There will be new things coming up as well as far as writings (or musings. . .whatever have you. . .) goes.

Until next time,

RJM


Time

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

My greatest enemy and my most cherished friend.
Grandfather, father, husband, brother; bringer of the end.

You’ve watched me grow from afar.
You’ve shown me what life has to offer.

Lies.
Truth.

Beginning.
End.

That it is continuous, whether we are in it or not.
That we can exist, be remembered, and our lives forgot—

—Ten years it’s almost been.
Nothing more than a drop in the endless sea.

I’ve lived, yeah, I’ve seen,
What this mortal life has yet to bring.

You are my enemy and my friend.
Still, I will welcome you, all of you, at the end.

 

Poem: The Division

The Division

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

Divided we are and united we fall,
Here we stand behind this wall.
Not one of brick and mortar,
But one of mud, slinging slurs, hate, and more.

Today is the day, now more than ever,
That we should stand shoulder to shoulder and raise our fist against the order.
For they will lie, cheat us, and steal,
Like they always have; anything to make a deal.

“Divide and conquer,” that was the motto,
To keep us oppressed, apart, broken, “lead” to follow.
For so long they have succeeded,
To keep us down, battered and beaten.

Now is the time, for us to rise up,
That we will no longer be silent and told to shut up.
Corruption, hate, fear and lies; hold no place, not in my heart,
It’s time to end it before it starts.
Where color, sex, and orientation; it matters not,
It’s important to erase our mistake, our disgusting blot.

United we shall be,
With them at our feet.


This was originally published on A.B.Normal Publishing’s site.

Suicide: A Poem and Post

Depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other disorders. Let none rule your life and hold you down. Talk about your problems. We all live together, in one shape or form.

For several years, I’ve struggled with depression. As such, I’ve attempted suicide a few times, often to make it look like an accident. From much trauma, chaos, and disorder, I went through adolescence and went without help.

Now, after enduring with my PTSD and anxiety; coupled with depression, I sought out help. It’s taken many years and many sessions. . .but so far, so good. I’ve learned to cope, to deal, and to make the best out of things.

Everyone handles their stress, depression and such differently. It’s good to talk about things that are occurring and impacting your life. Just know this, you are not alone in the fight.


My Suicide


To some, it’s a taboo,
To others, it’s nothing new.

It’s a choice we’ve come to make,
Either to live or die.

Fake.
Cry.

Alone.
Atone.

Always putting on a front,
Being told it’s just a stunt.

It’s ours to take.
A choice.

Live.
Born.

Give.
Die.

Abstract; we live in denial,
The End, its impact; a hung jury, mistrial.

I, too, have suffered and wandered alone,
I’ve tried plenty; to also push beyond it and overcome grief.

At times, it’s gotten to be the end,
There was always a reason to stay, it was just beyond me.

Now when I look into your eyes, I know I was right,
Being led through the dark, with you as my light.

I’ve killed myself and let go,
All the feelings of pain and guilt.

No more hate or regret,
Of the things that could have, should have been.

Silhouette.
Forget.

Sin.
Has-been.

Empty words to try and make it worse,
To lay us to waste and curse—

A reminder: for we are all one in the same, just trying to make it through the day.
Don’t be scared of the darkness or give it blame, this I say.

Call it friend.

For I tell you, friend, this is not your end.
I will not influence your choice for if you are set, but let me tell you: life is a test.

Trials we must face and endure. Make the best of any situation, even in death.
For when you take your last breath, sigh in relief. Friends help friends, even strangers; close and far, through grief.

I wish you well, friend, and to those very same who may suffer alone.

Here is my hand, let me help. Here is my ear, let me listen. Here are my lips, heed my words. These are my eyes, they see you.

May you be, released from your prison. . .be free.


Originally was posted on A.B.Normal Publishing

 

Expectations

What are your expectations? It doesn’t matter if it’s in business, life, a career, sex, your spouse (or significant other/mate), food, eating out, a new video game, your president, your government, etc.

Where did you set the bar? High? Low? Somewhere in the middle? Do you set certain expectations high in your list that only you know about?

With people nowadays, you can see something like:

“10/10. Would bang again.”— Internet Troll

“Drove like a snail in rush hour traffic. Wouldn’t recommend. 1 star.”— Anon Uber App User.

or maybe something like:

“They looked great but was horrible in the sack. Also found out now I have The Clap.” — Anon, Booty Call App User

I mean, we have a president that uses Twitter to influence others; ratings can go up or tank at a single whim.

This leads to the next point: Reviews—they’re similar you know. In fact, they’re mostly just the faux mask that covers “expectations.” You are reviewing your expectations and addressing those expectations of an establishment, book, place, person, etc.

Some folks nowadays can’t function very well out in the world without the strong opinion of “the elite.” You know the folks that are on Yelp that say “Elite ’15, 16, 17,” and so on? Or “highest reviewer” accredited to their username via Google+.

No, I am not one of those folks.

There are tons of horrible people, sure. However, there are a lot of good people in the world too. We’re humans. It is expected. You can sort and sift through reviews and you get a glance—a glimmer of what type/kind of person someone is. Not only by their history of visits, purchase history, and the sort but by how you are being told how they interacted with whoever they are reviewing [this also constitutes an establishment, customer service, etc.].

“I had a bad experience here. They threatened my fish.” — Anon

“Food was horrible. I wouldn’t even consider bringing it home and giving it to my dog.” — Anon couple; I actually overheard this one.

There are millions of reviews out there. Those who feel the need to make a point. Those who must feel the need to feel needed. Those that seek others satisfaction.

Ah, the Digital Age.

The Internet is a wonderful, yet, scary place to be on. You have an insurmountable wealth of knowledge and tools. Yet we spend hundreds to thousands of hours watching cat videos. Fragging people [Nothing wrong with that, game on! And yes, that is me being bias.]. Stealing other peoples’ identity. Hacking elections. Ousting pedophiles that have horrible images on their computer drives. I can keep going.

Technology has changed us—humanity. The human race. Technology knows no racial bias (except maybe console versus PC; Sony vs. Microsoft, .etc but that’s reaching at best.). It knows what we have programmed it to be. What we want it to be. What advances we want. Cures. Curse. Death. Damage. What can we do to inflict unto others? The good intermingled with the bad and vice versa.

You may ask, “What the hell does that have to do with expectations? Why did you bring up reviews? Who the hell threatens a fish?”

Well, we expect a lot. So much from businesses, people, schools, etc. Our family. Some men expect women to put out on the first date. We expect food to be hot (or cold) and served at our preference. We expect to be put first, high up on a pedestal. Some people expect their religion is right and is superior to another person’s. We expect the loser to go home crying. . .with a participation trophy. We expect too much—as a society, a whole. It’s a path that can—and will—lead us to our downfall. We cater too much, while not giving a damn about consequences. Enter your “keyboard warriors,” cyber bullies, trolls, etc.

Great expectations.

We are not a community that is so transparent. Well, we are. . .when it comes to greed. But that’s another lengthy discussion, though. We’re not a close-knit community that really backs each other up, helps one another without expecting something in return, gratification, or simple enough—money.

Technology has sped up our dehumanization and desensitization. When we are able to truly modify our bodies as cyborgs and/or androids, will a person even care about anyone else? Would we still exist as being. . .human?

That “eternal salvation” of uploading your memories and consciousness to the Internet (Transcendence on crack), while say, a meteor that will destroy mankind indefinitely here on Earth, but elsewhere in the galaxy or universe, we are beamed via satellite signal to space and wake up in new sleek android models. It was just a few seconds in delay to us, but in actuality, it was a hell of a long time.

I digress. Simply put, times have changed. The radical evolution of societal influence and lack of actual human interaction, the lessening of empathy, lack of sympathy, morals tossed out the window, common sense that is now rare, and so on.

We often like to say that we are the superior race, especially, when it comes to man versus beast. However, are we really that much better? Cool—poseable thumbs, a large neocortex, “alleged capabilities of complex problem solving, and operating weapons of mass destruction.” Sure, I guess we are. I suppose I would say that sardonically, because I know even after we are all gone, Nature will go on without us. It has for millions of years and will.

Sure, I guess we are. I suppose I would say that sardonically because I know even after we are all gone, nature will go on without us. It has for millions of years and will continue to.

You can consider this, I suppose a young person rambling on. Perhaps. But would you disagree? That there are a lot of issues that are presented here that are of importance and relevant, that are just tossed aside like everyday refuse? Swept under the rug. Dismissed and barred from public discussion because it’s a “no-no” and would make someone else upset and they might break out the whips and chains [Not the good kind either.].

Suicide, depression, anxiety, PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder], bullying, all of these and more are getting quite out of hand. As a sufferer of one of these many. . .side effects. . .I’ve made it my way of life to explore them, help others, learn other peoples’ stories and experiences, and even just listen. We all bleed the same. We all break. When, how, and why, though will come in to question.

So, you will see posts about suicide. Depression. Anxiety. PTSD. Other mental health issues and such. Writing is my therapy. It’s my way of sharing with others. Though it may be fiction in some ways, you do not have to feel silenced, judged, oppressed. With how news, media, and press are getting gagged, misinformation everywhere, etc. What’s next? Writers of fiction and non-fiction are hunted? We’ll see, right?

While I hope to entertain people, make it my career, provide expectations, get reviewed—I do it for myself. Do you want to know who my most cynical critic and ball-breaking is? It’s me. Granted, I am changing that way to not giving a damn completely, it’s still a process. I want to write just for the pure enjoyment I get out of doing it; being a god amongst men and women, creating worlds, life. In the very same manner—becoming death, chaos, a destroyer of worlds and relationships.

I could go on and on. . .though I would like to know: what are your expectations in life right now?

I will end with one of my favorite quote from the movie Legend with Tim Curry and Tom Cruise.

“The dreams of youth are the regrets of maturity. Dreams are my speciality. Through dreams, I influence mankind.” — The Lord of Darkness; Tim Curry

I wish you all well. Be safe and take care. The world is a mess. . .but it is a beautiful mess under all those bandages.

RJM

 

P. S. While I reintroduce some works, I invite you to check out a free ebook on the Kindle store: Abnormal Side Effects. If it’s not free for your region, then I invite you to a free copy here.

Feel free to talk with me, too. I don’t bite. Too hard.

My Three Lights

Northern Lights Photo from Flikr.

Northern Lights/Flickr

In a world consumed by darkness,

There are but three beacons to pierce the veil.

In a world consumed by sadness,

There are but three beacons that enable me to prevail.

In a world consumed by misguided anger,

There are but three beacons which chain me to stability.

In a world consumed by madness,

There are but three beacons which help me practice humility.

 

In my world there are but three lights,

There to help me get through my trying times.

Where they exist at such great heights,

Because you will need help often than not, not just sometimes.

 

For what I once was,

For who I am now.

I am better now because of my three lights.

 

 

Flikr has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

The Misadventure

"Outdoors Velvet Rocks" Photo by Charles Bukowsky. Charles Bukowsky has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

Photo by Charles Bukowsky. Charles Bukowsky has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

“Hey, can you come here for a moment?” The hushed voice startled me from my slumber.

I turned over in my bed and saw him standing in the bedroom doorway that led to the pitch hallway.

“Yeah, sure,” I yawned.

I got up, stretched briefly, and got out of the bed, putting on my pants and shirt. I walked out of the dark bedroom and followed him down the hallway to the living room; bewildered as to what could be keeping him from sleeping at this hour.

We furnished our outdoor apparel, and we ventured outside. It was typical as to what ritual nature would partake of this time of year. A thick fog blanketed all around. The gray street post illuminated a soft white somber glow. The air frigid. It was lightly snowing. The dark heaven’s had rolled out its carpet of stars long ago; the distant faint beacons in the twilight that had been absolved by the grayness of the night’s fog. A few streets over at the condominiums, the horizon, was lit in a charcoal glow.
We walked along on the sidewalk together, heading down towards the river in the depths of the woods.

“So, what’s up?” I inquired, the frosty vapor vanishing in the night and snow.

He was hesitant at first. “There’s something I want to find out and probably you too. Some answers.” His words added a chill to my ears.
We meandered through the thick brush and flora, coming upon the river at last. Before us, there was a strange spectacle: dirt, twigs, vines, had shaped an eerie archway. I walked around it to view it differently, while he stood there with his hands in his coat pockets.
I turned to him. “What’s this?”

He took in a deep breath. “Well…that’s what we’re about to find out.”
I nodded, and we simultaneously walked through the strange portal. There was a slight sensation when we passed through. Nothing painful, it was just like a shiver that ran up and down your spine.

Inside, there stretched a long dark corridor—violet and jet intermingled. It seemed to stretch on forever. Behind us, the would-be portal almost appeared to have vanished; only a spiral swirl of gray and white that spun. I reached out to touch it, only to have it distort, and feel the cold shiver return.

I turned around to see him going from side to side of the corridor. Various items were strewn about on a small ledge that stretched on with the length of the hall. I reached out to touch this ledge—warm—yet cold. It was like it neared the precipice of death. I approached his side, and truth be told, intrigued, just as to what these items could be. My eyes searched: photographs, hockey equipment, cigarettes, lighters, action figures, comics, books, various multimedia, tape cassettes, CD’s, Magic cards, alcoholic bottles…the list went on. I looked over at him…his eyes still wandering piece to piece.

“These are all mine. . .” he muttered. “It’s all stuff I’ve grown up with or has been apart of my life.”

I did nothing. I didn’t even know what to say. I just kept watching…listening and waiting.

We continued our misadventure through the corridor. It slowly became more twisted, and darker with each mile. Times and memories that were troubling, moods, stuff I never really had come to know. I could sense a hint of sadness emanate from him, though. There was something that laid in waiting ahead.

At last, we came to a patch that reeked of a putrid mix of indescribable words. Hints of burnt hair, flesh, plastic, cigarettes, marijuana, and God knows what else. The acrid odor caused me to cover my face, while he did not. He simply wandered on, investigating what was abound.

On one side, there was a mini refrigerator, one that apparently did not work. He opened the door wide. There was a clear plastic bag with a body of a female inside. I could tell who it was and by his expression, he could as well. He sighed heavily, before opening the bag.

The female’s body, crumpled, like a piece of paper, gray, broken. She reeked of smoke, hair, tissue and death. What remained of her dark blonde hair, was matted against her face, a few remaining strands covered her closed eyes. A sad, solemn expression on her face. Her mouth was open, battered, and broken from this short of time. Her tongue lazily hung to one side.

He closed the bag and the door before setting off to the next container on the opposite wall.

This vessel took on the shape of a bass amplifier. He fiddled with the knobs, buttons and then turned it around to find another body. She was recent, familiar, especially to him. I didn’t know her all to well, only the praises he held for her…the good and bad. She was more contorted; arms lazily folded over her crushed chest. Her face was painted gray, nearly resembling a macabre. Vines and other plants sprouted from her ears and tangled themselves in her dark brown hair. A few cannabis leaves budded from her eyelashes. Her face hinted at sadness; adorned by the small blue jeweled crescent moon that drooped to her cheek.

He turned the amp around and continued to wander the corridor.

As we traveled further down, we heard a familiar sound [meow]. One I was accustomed to when I would visit. Now and then, we would see a gray smokey shade darting around, occasionally brushing our legs but never really there.

At last, we came to an incomplete section of the corridor. The darkest yet we had encountered.

A black and gold trimmed microwave oven perched on the ledge. It was shaped and fashioned like a casket. A gold plate adorned its face. We knew what it read, who it was.

“I’m sorry,” I muttered.

He shook his head. His face away from me, staring at the misshapen, malformed resting place of his father.

“Just don’t look, just promise me that.”

I nodded, “I won’t.”

I turned away, my back to the father and son. I heard the click of the microwave open and the beginning of an unrelenting sob. Cigar and cigarette smoke billowed into the air and wavered all around. The timer of the microwave dinged. A series of thuds…a crash—of glass and metal.

Finally, there was silence. I turned to see him place the battered microwave back on the ledge, grab the shovel that was nearby and start to dig.

“Do you want any help?” I asked.

“No, I need to do this,” He grunted as he dug into the tough malformed earth.

After several moments, he hopped out of the hole and grabbed the microwave. He wandered back to the hole and laid it to rest. He stared at it for a minute or two before starting to bury it.

He ventured once more to the ledge, retrieving the gold nameplate. “Alright, let’s go.”

I nodded as we began to return to the entrance of his ‘memory lane’.

Upon exiting the corridor, at last, we turned to watch the archway disintegrate into ash. From there, we wandered back to the sidewalk and returned to my home. There, on the porch we sat. I, myself, wondered if what happened was real or not. We both lit a cigarette, silent, not questioning or mentioning what happened. We went on with our typical night, but I could still tell something was different about him. Something—that deep down inside, this experience was for the better.

Robert J. S. T. McCartney
A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group

Slow Down, Speed Up

So it begins…

What I mean is that the short stories are going to be at a slower output, since I will be prioritizing the novels to get done. Although, there is one that I want to get done before too much time passes. In any case, you’ll be seeing fewer posts of short stories and maybe more posts on updates, Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle, and some other titles.

There will also be the posting of the Kickstarter for Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle along with the rewards for each tier. I’d like to make it a bit unique and sentimental, so I am trying to add something else I am quite partial to.

I’m happy to have it done. However, I need to go through a round of editing and then get in touch with a designer for the hardcover edition…since I want that one to be special. I will be unveiling the paperback cover real soon. It was a project that I enjoyed writing and producing, and I can’t wait to bring more stories to the hands of people all around the world. I know I can’t please everyone, and that’s fine, I expect it. There are quirks with something and about something every day that goes on, and books, along with movies, music, etc. are no stranger to the daily shenanigans of criticism.

I enjoyed writing it and doing it, that in itself, is good enough for me. Honestly, I never thought I’d get it ready for publication, let alone have the desire to share a story with the world. I hope folks enjoy it for what it is and look for the clues, references, friendship, and everything put into it.

Spoilers: it’s not the first in the series, and it won’t be the last. So, if people are to be disappointed, then by all means, be so. If they’re excited now that there will be a continuation…great!

When the time comes, I’d gladly take requests of what people think of certain characters, implementations and all the fun, great fan service. Just to get a feel of what people are craving. 😉

Honestly, though, I’ve had the book play out as a movie in my mind for several years now…and that is something I’d love to see come to fruition. To which, all I can do is try and apply. You can’t quit on your dreams, and you certainly can’t quit on the chance of inspiring others.

That’s about all for now, folks. There’s writing to be done! Until next time.

RJM