New episodes of the All That Chazz podcast and the Cool People Podcast will return soon. In the meantime, there’s this (NSFW) awesomeness:
Fresh year. Clean slate. New attitudes. New you. How about it?
I’ve been away a while. Had some health problems. Had some issues. However, I didn’t (couldn’t) wait until the New Year to start making major changes. It turns out, the key to change was deciding to.
When that failed, I decided to again. That choice isn’t made once each New Year’s Eve. It has to be made each morning, each hour and each minute.
Come with me if you want to live.
We do what we do and dream of what we want to do, but we will never know why. What motivates us to choose this over that? These are secrets we keep from ourselves. Hidden among many skeins of branches amid forests of neurons, the answers are locked away. Why did you choose this man or that woman, that ambition and this life? Did you really choose at all, or did invisible forces choose for you?
The answers to these questions is a mystery and sometimes (often?) a misery.
On dark nights we peer at the stars and wonder about what life on which planets might be born and living and dying beyond the reach of our senses, long ago and far away.
But we are just as much a mystery to ourselves. Our minds hold secrets and hide memories the brain will never yield. The gears of the subconscious spin and work, autonomous (up to something?) pushing and pulling us, this way and that. We say things we don’t mean and we don’t know why. We drive, zombies on automatic, and awake at our destination hoping the last three traffic lights were green as we sailed through, oblivious and unharmed.
We are not awake.
We do not see all there is.
Even as I write this? My heart rate, the secrets of my blood and what makes me write at all? All unknown to me.
I am still asleep, dreaming of waking. It’s hopeless.
We are never truly awake. I don’t even know which world is better. In moments when I swim closer to the lens that lets in light, I see things. More is revealed to me. I understand more. I am more interested in the world then, but less happy.
This is a dream. When that reality becomes too harsh, I escape to my bed, into a deeper dream within the dream. Each morning fool myself into thinking I am awake.
Maybe death could be merciful like that.
We die, but in the fog at the end, we do not notice our passing. We continue, dreaming that we are living. I don’t believe that, but I love the symmetry and grace of it. We could die and it wouldn’t matter because, no matter how absurd, dreams make sense and we continue dreaming, warm and insulated from the worst the world can offer.
Don’t let me die. Let me keep on dreaming I am alive. Just like tonight.
That wouldn’t be so bad.
~ Robert Chazz Chute is waiting for blood test results and thinking about mortality.
I’ve been unwell, but each morning when I wake up, I think about This Plague of Days and what comes next. I think about the holes in the plot I must plug and the nice people I have to kill (some even in fiction.) Armies of humans, zombies and vampires will gather to fight for the future and some characters we’ve come to know well are not going to live to see it. Fear not. I’ll balance out the bleak, the outrageous and the hopeful…somehow.
Writing a serial this big is not easy. It’s not digging frozen ditches in December difficult, but it has its challenges. That’s why I appreciate your kind reviews and emails so much. You nurture me. You keep me going. I can hardly wait to hit you with Season 3 of This Plague of Days. I just read another five-star review of TPOD! Wow! I’m so happy about how things are working out.
I had planned to write another book first, but Jaimie Spencer kept coming to me in my dreams and telling me to let the last of the trilogy unfold and get to it. I’m not even kidding. The boffo conclusion of This Plague of Days is a persistent itch that only writing can scratch. And so, yes, be assured I’m working on it. Not as fast as either of us would prefer, I suppose, but each week I steal a few more hours to chisel at the block of granite. The story is emerging in surprising ways.
All runners stumble
This week I allowed a vampire (an energy vampire) to sap me of creativity. I lost sleep and time and got sick. I allowed the vampire into my brain when he had not earned that privilege nor was he invited. If you have even a little success, occasionally you’ll become the target of a stalker or get a rude message from people with ulterior motives. An email dripping with condescension threw me off my stride. Lesson learned. I’ll hit the spam button faster next time.
And so I come back to what’s important: creating great experiences for me and my readers. I love to play with words. I love to tell stories. I thank every single reader who digs what I do and lets me know they get it. This Plague of Days is our party and, honestly, letting go of the guest of honor, Jaimie Spencer, will be hard to do.
For me, leaving Jaimie and the Spencers behind to write other books is going to be like leaving The Last Cafe…and that statement will be explained in Season 3 of This Plague of Days.
We appreciate your patience. Please stand by…
In this, the 82nd episode, a rant about the why of the downfall of US democracy (well, one why), a taste of what The Little Book of Braingasms is like and a reading from the Hunger Games chapter of the crime novel, Higher Than Jesus. Brace yourself for glamazon ideation and deep reflections on addiction. Chill’s been stabbed and Jesus Diaz has to somehow track down Willow Clemont before the Fat Man and Lurch kill her. This could prove difficult. They’re somewhere in Chicago, but that’s all our luckless Cuban assassin knows. Lesson: Don’t get involved with arms deals with crazies.
This podcast is sponsored by Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com. Go check out his work. If you need a web banner or a book cover, he’s the Scottish man of your dreams.
Sorry this episode is late. Had to get a day job. Long story. Please donate to support the podcast or buy the books in the sidebar at AllThatChazz.com. And, by the way, Season One of This Plague of Days is now available in paperback! (Working on the same for Season 2.) To learn more about This Plague of Days, check out www.ThisPlagueOfDays.com.
Thanks for listening!
Braingasms, a little American politics, giving Canuck thanks on Canuck Thanksgiving, This Plague of Days and a reading from the crime novel, Higher Than Jesus. There’s a lot of lisping in this reading. There’th a lot of lithping in thith epithode.
Podcast art by the inimitable Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com.
Here are the books mentioned in this podcast:
The Little Book of Braingasms, This Plague Of Days, and This Plague of Days. You’ll find all the links to the books at AllThatChazz.com.
You can learn more about This Plague of Days at ThisPlagueOfDays.com.
To donate to the podcast, use the safe and secure, pretty yellow button in the right sidebar of AllThatChazz.com. Thanks!
Don’t Make Plans for Next Tuesday
We are the armies of the black,
forgotten in your shadows,
making your shoes,
working the pumps and spigots
and spitting in your food.
We are the robot brigade,
smiling at your complaints,
But when we go home to plug in and drop out,
we dream of you,
taking our places and our aprons.
Hearts beat beneath the name tags
that allow you to forget us.
Our wheels spin and calculate.
From behind sneeze shields,
we watch and wait.
We put in our time and dream
and strangling you.
Be kinder to the slaves.
When the revolution comes,
the slaves know where the food is
and how to fix things.
We have long memories.
We are all masters of something.
We wish you hadn’t chosen sarcasm
and trade derivatives.
You’ll be sorry.
The compassionate will live
when the robots rise.
~ IF this is the sort of stirring silliness you enjoy, check out The Little Book of Braingasms. Read the warning on the label first, though. I’m not making a big deal about this release. It’s just something slowly percolating out there for those of us who are secretly Goth and emo. It’s full of the dark thoughts that permeate my skull when you think I’m listening.
I got a review today that put me in a bad mood. Everybody gets an opinion. That’s fine and I don’t ever reply to bad reviews. However, borderline libellous statements sap my creative energy and make me sad. I’ve reported the abuse to the platform in question, though I doubt they’ll do anything about it. That’s how these things tend to go.
I took an hour off. I lost some writing time. I watched an episode of Band of Brothers. Was there ever a better film depiction of soldiers in war that didn’t glamorize it? It was a good thing to lose an hour to.
Anyway, I posted the story below on Facebook earlier. Then I decided to share it with all of you. If you like my crime novels, Bigger Than Jesus and Higher Than Jesus, you might go for this. It’s from a dark work in progress in my head. Let’s have a demonstration of psycho-macho psyche and what that BS can get you. Let’s call it…
The big man’s first slap stunned the smaller man.
The victim’s head rocked back and blood ran freely from his split lip. Shocked, he touched his mouth. “The speaker phone was on when you called me at home before. My family heard. You frightened my wife and child. You shouldn’ta done that.”
A smile. “Scared of me?”
“You’re making a mistake. Leave. Leave now! Please!”
The big man stepped closer, looked him up and down, and chuckled.
The smaller man took the cell from his shirt pocket and hit “End”.
The big man’s second slap didn’t connect. Instead, the intended victim cupped his attacker’s chin in one hand and grabbed him by the hair at the back of his head. The big man laughed, even as the smaller man twisted his neck and, almost gently, guided him to the ground.
Then the big man’s intended victim brought all his weight down, hard, slamming the point of his knee into the side of the attacker’s face, just in front of the ear.
The big man’s laughter broke cold over stunning realization. The jaw didn’t break. Instead, it wrenched to the side in a loose, snapping slide.
A second’s silence passed. Nerves lit fire. Brain gears whirled panic. The screeching and flailing began.
The smaller man yelled to be heard above the big man’s pain. “You came to humiliate me! You came here to beat me up. But I’m not here for a fight!”
He took the big man’s eyes first. After that, it was easy.
When the man stood, he wasn’t the victim anymore. His cell lay on the floor, ringing and ringing. That would be 911 calling back to make sure he was okay. He was fine. He felt taller.