Cyborg Sunday, update 4.22.2018: Writer’s life, giving up coffee, and applying for my dream job

Somehow, I thought that

Giving up coffee would suck.

It’s not all that bad.

“Doing Without” by Yours Truly

Bruce Lee once said, ““It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

I’ve decided to put this to the test by giving up coffee. I know what you’re thinking: “Uh, Kevin, you’re a writer! How are you going to do this? Without coffee, you won’t be able to stay up into the late hours of the night, hammering away at the keys as though they owe you money, demanding your sleep-deprived consciousness provides a few words that you can trick people into believing are compelling.”

Then I’m like, “I also don’t drink or smoke,” and you’re probably thinking, “Good Lorde, man, how dare you? There is such a long, glorious tradition of writers, American or otherwise, sinking into the mire of their own self-destruction in pursuit of what it really means to be human! You betray all those who came before you by rejecting such glorious decay!”

Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic. Plus, I don’t know you. Maybe you didn’t think any of that, but here’s a word of advice: you don’t ever have to be miserable or sleep-deprived to write. While certainly a little less tortured, being happy and healthy will bolster your sensibilities and give you more resilience. It’ll be way easier to keep writing, especially in the face of rejection, if your body and mind are well.

As far as my writing goes, I have nothing to report this week. I subbed a poetry manuscript, but no rejections or acceptances.

BUT… I just applied for my dream job. I’d be writing with a video game company I really respect. That’s all I’ll say. Don’t like sharing too much when things are still in the works. I have a good feeling about it, though. A real good feeling. Let’s hope giving up coffee has a butterfly effect!

Along those lines, I hear coffee increases insulin resistance in Type 1 Diabetics. There’s conflicting evidence here, and paradoxically, some suggest it decreases the risk of Type 2 in non-diabetic subjects. However, other data shows it exhausts the body’s endocrine system, contributing to the development of T2D and Addison’s Disease.

This bears significantly more investigation, both in my life and otherwise, because the prevalence of autoimmune disorders in modern America is unbelievably high compared to previous decades. If mass coffee consumption is linked to the development of such issues, we could potentially treat or prevent a number of conditions by eliminating it from our diet–or insurance companies could use a coffee habit as a ‘pre-existing condition’ and deny you coverage. Wouldn’t be surprised if they did this already for heart problems and blood pressure issues.

So far, it’s only been 2 days since my last cup, but I seem to have some increased insulin sensitivity, so that’s cool. I’ve been weening off via green tea though, so I’m not sure if the caffeine in that has an effect too, or if the insulin resistance comes from coffee itself. Either way, I’m saving money, so that’s cool.

And, doubleplusgood, lower caffeine means lower stress reactions. I’m super excited waiting to hear back about this job, so kicking caffeine to the curb was great timing.

I’m off to hurry up and wait, by which I mean write. Hope you have a great week!

 

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Cyborg Sunday, update 4.15.2018:

A leaf on the wind

Doesn’t care how hard its blown:

It enjoys the flight.

“Fate”

Hey everyone!

Bit of a mixed bag on my end lately, as I’m sure you can imagine, given that I missed last week’s update. A bunch of different events collided at once–visiting a tiny family member for her birthday, accidentally ripping out my Libre sensor, trying to find more gainful employment–and by the time I even realized I forgot my weekly post, it was, like, Wednesday.

Dull news: I got my Google Analytics IQ, so watch out, data! I’m observing you.

Epic writer’s news: My feature screenplay “The Mirror Game” won fourth place in The 2018 International Horror Hotel’s horror category! It was my first screenplay, too, so that was really something. There’s a festival starting May 31st and I don’t exactly have a lot of disposable income, but hell yeah am I going to go!

I also hit my 100th short story publication! Hit it a while ago, actually. I miscounted. My bad. Either way, that’s two resolutions off the 2018 list!

Lastly, stay tuned, because I’m having a cover reveal for Visions from the Veil soon, and it’s going to blow your friggin mind’.

I want to end on the high notes, so that’s all for now. Have an amazing day!

Cyborg Sunday, update 4.1.2018: Happy Yeaster!

Puns are the highest

And lowest form of humor:

Both at the same time.

“Schrodinger’s Punchline” by Yours Truly

As you can see from this Instagram post, I have a strange, stupid, and pun sense of humor. My sister wasn’t too happy with it. Still, what did she expect from The Pun-isher? She chose to come back to The Punderdome instead of staying up her college for Yeaster. You can’t complain about my sense of humor if you decide to ride shotgun in my Punderbird.

I won’t keep you. It’s a double holiday! Go celebrate. Hug, laugh, prank, and perform some well-intentioned psychological warfare on the people you love. I’ll talk more about myself some other time.

Cyborg Sunday, Update 3.11.2018: Free Fiction, a Book Launch, new BGM, and Sweet, Wonderful Rejection

Measure a man only

By how he withstands defeat.

Truth lies in hardship.

“Behind the Mask” by Yours Truly

First off, no cyborg news. I might’ve torn my meniscus, but we’ll come back to that in a fortnight. I see a doctor on the 20th. All good vibes are appreciated!

Also, if you’re interested in a FREE STORY, check out “Throw Away the Key” in this week’s Trembling with Fear!

Also also, Fatal Fetish launched today from J. Ellington Ashton press! I’ve got a story in here titled “Glutton for Punishment.” The anthology title should tip you off, but it’s hella kinky. I’m slightly miscredited on the Amazon author section, but I assure you, I am Kevin Holtow. And I’m fixing that.

Any writers out there looking for some cool BGM would also do well to check out ChilledCow’s Lofi Hip-hop station. It’s pretty great.

Lastly, I subbed “Against the Odds” to Things in the Well’s Beneath the Waves anthology. I got shortlisted, but it didn’t make the cut. Frankly, I love that. I went up against huge competition and just missed it, meaning it’s a pretty good story, but others were slightly better. I’ll tweak it and find a new home somewhere else real soon.

What’s to come? Here’s a snapshot:

–I’m wrapping a zombie story today, but you know me. They aren’t just zombies. There’s something else in the horde, vicious, cunning, not alive, yet not quite dead…

–I’ll be wrapping edits on Before My Eyes (title may change) this week and sending that out for indie consideration.

–I’m 6k into The Reflection and The Echo, which I’ll be subbing to agents.

–More promo for ATHOM, of course!

And, I have a funny feeling I’ll have even more news coming up this week… So be sure to stop back this time next Sunday for another update!

As always, thank you for reading. If you’d like to support me and get monthly fiction, MP3 readings, and even signed copies, check out my Patreon. You’ll be helping me afford insulin and stuff, which is super great of you.

High Praise for At the Hands of Madness

Hi there!

Looks like AT THE HANDS OF MADNESS is doing phenomenally! It’s kept a pretty high rank and, while it’s not being Dean Koontz or Clive Barker yet, it’s sold way more than I anticipated, putting its rank pretty damn high.

But don’t take my word for it! Here’s what others are saying:

“Holton’s careful wit and smooth writing style made this book one I couldn’t put down. The storyline kept me entertained, despite that it is not my go-to genre. I’ll be looking out for more from this author!” –Drew Sofranko, 5 Star Amazon Review

“You can perfectly imagine what Holton is narrating and that makes you grin more than once.” “The tension is constant all through the book, and the author’s imagination tricks you and challenges your mind, even when you don’t expect it.” “You’ll love it.” –Mar G-Amorena, 5 Star Amazon Review

“More Steak and Scotch than any other book I’ve read!” –KJ, Reviewer

“At first, I thought it was a little goofy, but that opening lightheartedness was just to set you up for the fall.” –LMF, Reviewer

Want to check it out for yourself? Click above, or here. I’m not picky.

Talk to you soon!

Cyborg Sunday, update 01.07.2018: #Horror, #Blogging, #AmWriting, #Plotting

Time: an illusion

Waging war against humans.

The hour marches on.

–“Soldier,” A Haiku, by Kevin Holton

 

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to Cyborg Sunday.

To begin, I’ll let you know I’m making plans. I never make plans, so expect something big.

That said, I’ve got a bunch of other things in the works. I recently subbed to a closed call with my old friends at Siren’s Call Publications, where The Nightmare King will be published later this year. I also subbed to the Escape Pod podcast, confirmed a few book reviews for Pleiades, signed a contract for a fictional advertisement with The Mad Scientist Journal, sent my novella Amphibia Maxima to Grinning Skull Press, and sent my novel Absolute Zero off to Apex Book Company.

Grass does not grow under my feet, friends.

I’m also being considered for a job (not gonna jinx it by saying more), and finished the recordings for Harmon Cooper’s Life is a Beautiful Thing Book One.

More fun news, I’ve joined up with The Bold Mom as one of their new Dark Fantasy bloggers! They’re a very dynamic, socially-engaged group of horror writers and reviewers, so I’m looking forward to contributing.

As far as all things cyborg go, I’m officially CONSIDERING the Freestyle Libre. I’ve held out on Continuous Glucose Monitors due to their bulkiness and lack of accuracy, but this is apparently a great model, and my endocrinologist highly recommended it. I’ll be switching to humalog, for insurance reasons, and am going back on the 200 mcg levothyroxine, but hey, chronic illnesses aren’t a sprint. They’re a marathon.

I’m a little more excited for the Eversense system, because contrary to most people, I actually think it sounds really god damn cool to get something implanted in my body to monitor my blood sugar. Moreover, it lasts for 90 or 180 days, which is amazing, because no hassle! Even if I have to get it changed out, I imagine this tech will improve quickly.

ViaCyte is also doing interesting work with stem cells and islet cell transplants, and there’s the TRAFFIC system, and some are still following the Edmonton Protocol, though it’s still a bit short lived. Who knows where we’ll be next year?

All I know is that, for now, I’m going to keep on keepin’ on, as I like to say. Drop me a line below if you found any of this interesting. Talk to you soon!

Free fiction to kick off my 2018 campaign @Patreon!

Hey folks!

To start my 2018 off “write,” I have two stories up on my Patreon account that are FREE to all readers!

If you like what you see there, please consider pledging. The first five pledges of 2018 get a free ebook, and one slot’s already taken, so hop along if you want that special offer!

1 dollar gets you the monthly story and an annual eBook of them all collected,

5 gets you an MP3 recording of me reading the work

10 earns you a “Sponsored by” listing on my website, a link to your page/site/profile, and being personally thanked in my videos

20 gets you signed print copies of the annual collection, AND any single-author book I put out while you’re pledged, not to mention an entire page of my website dedicated to you.

And 100? That’s a special tier. You get a special GOLDEN MYSTERY BOX! (Once a year)

So, here’s a teaser to today’s free story. Head on over to read the rest!

Sacrifices

The front door slams open, then shut, and I hear heavy, rapid footfalls going up the stairs. Damn, I think, looking at the stove, turning the flame down low so that I don’t turn chicken cutlets into charcoal. With a twist of the sink’s knobs, hot water blasts over the carving knife, cleansing it as I follow my sister upstairs. After today, it’s never going to be clean again.