Cyborg Sunday, Update 12.17.17: Phoenix flames, net neutrality, writing, and other current events

Those who burn the world,

And keep boots upon our necks,

Will choke on their smoke.

–Comeuppance, a haiku, by yours truly

I may be one of the only people around who enjoys tinnitus.

Now, that doesn’t mean I LOVE it, just that I don’t find it as inconvenient as others seem to. In fairness, I don’t hear a high-pitched ringing, so much as a rapidly oscillating pulse. I’m not sure what the frequency is, but if I had more time, I’d perform some experiments to find out. That’s just the kind of guy I am.

Fortunately, it’s not the same tone as my insulin pump, and the sound only goes off intermittently anyway, so it’s not like this little plastic pancreas will run out of batteries and I won’t realize until my glucose hits 400. Even in sleep, I’m pretty good about hearing it. When health and survival depend on a single shrill tone, or the hum of an artificial ‘organ’ against your hip, you learn not to sleep too deeply.

Yet, for all my restlessness and insomnia, that steady wubwubwubwub in my ears lulls me to sleep. Good thing, too, because Net Neutrality has me–and, from what I understand, 83% of America–worried.

As a freelance writer, a lot of my future depends on my ability to get work out there. I’m not the only one, and I’m lucky, in the sense that my livelihood doesn’t depend on this yet. While I’m trying to build a Patreon page, sure, representation looks like my most assured path to making a career out of what I love to do. Until then, I keep the day job, which offers a slightly livable wage and, more importantly, insurance.

All I can offer those who might see their income impaired is pity and prayers. As someone who would’ve died at the age of two if not for scientific advancement, I know prayers only take you so far. I do believe in something, but I believe it helps those who help themselves. No one’s getting cured by accident or miracle. We develop, adapt, and overcome, or we succumb.

Maybe I’m cynical, but come hold my pancreas for a moment, then tell me your worldview.

Let’s see, writing and reading news: I read through Attack of the Kaiju: Age of Monsters this week. An admirable collection of giant monster fiction. It does contain four works by the two editors, but three of those four are fairly original, and pretty good. A few other names repeat. If you like kaiju and can’t wait for Pacific Rim Uprising, you ought to check this out.

I’ve also been hired to narrate four audiobooks. I’ll post more info when they’re closer to release, but long story short, they’re sci-fi works set in an android-ridden, drug-fueled, capitalist hellscape. I suppose my tech interests and gravelly voice made the writer think I’m a perfect choice, and hey, it’s been a lot of fun. Writing’s fun, too, but getting to contribute to another’s work, while getting me back into performing at the same time, has been great. I’m glad to have this opportunity.

Final notes: I sent out new flash fiction work to a contest, as well as to a Santa themed anthology. I don’t discuss details on non-accepted work, but “Maul Santa” will be appearing in Shades of Santa, a charity anthology put out by Things in the Well.

Soon, you’ll also be able to catch “Body and Soul” in the next issue of The Siren’s Call, a story about a man who dies in his sleep, and wanders his house as a ghost while his reanimated corpse wreaks havoc. If you just can’t wait, check out “Weighing Feathers” in the current issue. No spoilers, but let’s just say, I love reanimation–you’re just not always going to get zombies.

I’ll hopefully have more news soon. I’ve got poems out in a few markets, a few short stories being considered, a novella, two novels, and two short story collections being considered. I’d slow down, but I’ve lost interest in video games, so what else am I going to do with my time?

Besides, I’ve got a database to keep my head straight.

Obviously, life stands to change quite a bit soon, and that might impact all of our work, not just my own, but don’t any of you give up. There’s still plenty of time to sue to FCC, or have Net Neutrality pushed through via Congress, regulated by our federal legislature instead of a 5-person committee headed by a former Verizon lawyer.

Remember: if you can’t stop the world from burning, bring that fire into your heart, and scorch a path to a better tomorrow. Get out there, protest, and by all 5,000 of human kind’s gods, vote! Vote in every single election. Show the incumbent their positions are not secure. Show corporations that they do not get to dictate what is best for this nation.

The future is not decided by one person, by five, or by 535. It’s decided by all of us, every day. So get out there and make a choice.

 

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