Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thoughts On Christmas

Christmas is almost upon us and, like every year, I feel myself getting more and more depressed as we get closer to the holiday.

I have fond memories of Christmas as a child. Unfortunately, most of those memories consist of presents I got or ways us altar boys used to goof off during the Christmas Eve mass without getting in trouble. The family dinners, the traditions and rituals that were performed have faded and I can barely remember them now. Some of them, I have forgotten completely.

These days, I don't really get presents anymore (mostly because I specify that I don't want any) and I haven't been an altar boy for a really long time, so I feel as though there is nothing special about the holiday for me anymore.

Don't get me wrong. There are good things about Christmas. This year, in particular, since it'll be the first time that I will have the children on Christmas Day in four years. This means, that I'll actually be able to see them open their presents from Santa early that morning and since I have them for the week prior, I get to watch the anticipation build as we get closer tothe big day.

But, if it weren't for the kids, I wouldn't even bother celebrating. I just don't see the point.

As an atheist, the religious aspect means absolutely nothing to me. I hate gift shopping, mostly because I'm horrible at figuring out what people want, and I usually get the polite but unenthusiastic "Oh, thanks. It's really...nice." Or even worse, "It's the thought that counts." Some people tell me Christmas is about spending time with loved ones, and I'll agree that this is important, but why do we need a day to spend with our loved ones? If we love them, do we need an excuse to spend time with them?

I could also go on and on about the whole commercialization of the holiday, and how it's lost it's true meaning, but I think that argument has been done to death, and we all know this is happening. You don't need me to tell you.

So why do I get depressed on Christmas?

Honestly, I don't know.

It could be that subconsciously I'm jealous at how others enjoy the holiday regardless of their religious beliefs and for some reason I seem unable to.

Maybe it's because I'm old and grumpy and look to find fault with everything and am just simpy unable to enjoy anything.

Maybe it's because my first marriage ended at Christmas time in 2005.

Maybe it's all these things rolled into one.

The fact remains, I don't like Christmas. Yet, there's a Christmas tree in my living room right now, and I did, in fact, help assemble it and decorate it. When people wish me a merry Christmas, I don't bitch them out and tell them I hate it (even though it's no secret). I simply wish them the same and be on my way. I will participate in family gatherings, and I'm sure a good time will be had by all, myself included--not because it's Christmas, but because family gatherings can be fun.

So, what's the point of all this? Nothing. I'm just rambling, because it's almost Christmas and all around me people are talking about it and getting excited and I just thought I'd throw in my two cents on the subject.



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why I Don't Believe in God

Once again, it has been quite some time since I've posted on here. Life has been busy with a few crises happening and a few writing projects I've been working on. Not to mention I had a mishap with my laptop, and it was a struggle getting back the stories I had on there (me being the idiot I am didn't bother to back up any of my work). Thankfully, pretty much everything has been salvaged with the exception of one short I had started but didn't get very far into, two chapters of a horror novel and two chapters of a YA fantasy. The YA work I'm not concerned about since I have three chapters that survived in long-hand and I believe I can come fairly close to re-creating the two lost chapters, so I think I'm sitting pretty good.

Anyway, on to the task at hand. As per the title of this blog, I am an atheist, and I have been for a few years now. Realistically, I would say I've been one for the past five years.

There have been times during that five years when I've described myself as a christian, but this was more wishful thinking than anything. At that time, and even still today, I would like nothing more than for there to be a god who loves us and looks out for us, but I just can't resign myself to that belief for a few reasons:

1. The world makes more sense without God.

I say this because the world around me doesn't seem to make sense if God does exist. Good people suffer while bad people prosper. Children suffer and die every day. Some people who are Christians seem to be doing well for themselves, others aren't. Why is this? If God is blessing some christians, why not others? Why does it seem as though God blesses people who aren't christian? Or thos who claim to be but obviously aren't based on their actions? These are questions I have asked myself and others throughout my time in the christian church and never recieved an answer beyond "God works in mysterious ways." That cop-out answer just isn't good enough for me.

2. Christians bug me.

Now, the reason I say this is because I spent a long time as a member of a christian church, which I attended with my wife and family. I had made many friends in this church. Some of them I considered to be like family. I even spent time in their homes, and they in mine. We often went for coffee to discuss the bible, God, or just life in general. I thought I had good friends.

But then, something happened. My wife left me (please note: she left me. I did my best to reconcile the marriage, which is what the bible says to do, she is the one who ended it, and she is the one who refused to even attempt a reconciliation). Not only did she leave me, but she also decided to rake my name through the mud and start spreading untrue rumors of horrible things I did to her. She made me out to be a monster.

So, these christian friends of mine, what did they do? They chose to believe her, and I suddenly I was left alone and without friends.

Okay, to be fair, there were two who chose to still talk to me, but I always felt they were doing it because they felt obligated and not because they didn't believe the lies that were being spread about me.

So what does this tell me? The people in that church were more willing to believe someone who was lying to them (go figure!) than to realize that based on what they knew of me, I wouldn't be capable of such horrific things, and that, even if they were true, the whole philosophy of love the sinner, hate the sin, went right out the window. I was alone and in need of a friend, but all those christians whom I had thought were my friends for a few years, had deserted me.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. I've heard it before. People have told me, "You can't base that one incident to judge an entire group of people."

I agree with that %100. However, this isn't an isolated incident. I know more than a few people who've had similar experiences with the christian church, and I've had other experiences with different churches that have done the same thing.

The one conclusion that I've come to through all this is if God is real, why don't his followers practice his teachings? Since they don't, he seems to be doing absolutely nothing about the fact that his followers seem to be continuously giving him a bad name, I can draw no other conclusion that he doesn't exist.

3. There is evidence for atheism

Recently, I've discovered videos on YouTube psoted by a gentleman known only to me by his username, profMTH. If you haven't watched his videos, I highly recommend you do. They are very intelligent, well thought out, and well presented. This man spent many years in the Catholic church until he came to atheism three years ago. Since then, he's been posting videos on YouTube in support of atheism, and I can find no argument to refute the evidence in support of his claims. He uses biblical references to support his arguments, and is able to refute just about any claim that God exists or that the bible has any validity whatsoever. Once again, if you haven't watched these videos, I recommend that you do. He is funny as well as informative and I look forward to each new video he puts out.

4. Biblical contradictions.

Yes, at one point in my life I believed that the bible was the word of God, and that there weren't any contradictions. However, I now realize how wrong I was. If you don't believe me, I point you once again to profMTH and his ten video series entitled "Brief Bible Blunders." They are not only funny, but they bring up contradictions in the bible that seem to me to be unreconcilable. The contradictions are there, despite many pathetic attempts by christians to explain them away.

5. God isn't so great.

Even if the bible were true, this does not look good on God for many reasons:

-The bible condones slavery: Leviticus 25:44-46 (New International Version)
"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly."

-The bible promotes sexism: Genesis 3:16 (New International Version)
"Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

-The bible promotes homophobia: Romans 1:26-27 (New International Version)
"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. "

-God describes himself as being jealous: Exodus 20:5-6 (New International Version)
"You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments. "

This wouldn't bother me so much, except later on in 1 Corinthians 13:4 (New International Version) we read:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."

I'm sorry, but to me this means: "God does not love you." If God is jealous but to love someone means to not mbe envious (which is the same as jealousy), what other conclusion can one come to?

All I want to show with this is, even if the bible is true, who would want to worship a god like this? Not to mention the book of Job, in which God allows one of his servants to suffer some of the most horrific things that can befall a human being (loss of livelihood, children, health) just to prove a point to the devil. God of love? I don't think so.

And that, my friends, is why I choose not to believe in God. If anyone would like to comment, I am open to discussions on this topic.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, October 5, 2009


It's occurred to me recently, especially in those moments when I have way too much time to think (which has been happening way too often recently), that being happy isn't exactly conducive to writing horror.

I always found I tend to write better when I'm upset or just downright pissed off. The ideas for horror stories would flow faster than I could write them. I still have a few of those ideas rattling around in my brain, just waiting for me to finish what I'm currently working on so I can devote my full attention to them.

Here are a few of the things on my plate at the moment:

1. I'm currently working on a WAR themed story for a group I belong to. No plans on markets to submit this piece to, we all just decided to all write stories on a specific theme in order to help the creative juices flow. This story has been on a standstill for the last week, but I had an "AHA!" moment a few days ago, and I think I've finally figured out which direction this story wants to go, so I should have a first draft completed very soon.

2. I have just about finished editing another story. I'm very pleased with how this one turned out and I'm hoping to find a home for it soon.

3. Once those two stories are out of the way, I have another piece to write. This one won't be a horror story, but just a weird tale that I can't seem to get out of my head. I didn't want to start writing it until worked out some sort of ending for it, which I think I have now, so once I'm finished with the two tales mentioned above, I'll write this one next.

4. I spoke to a friend of mine, who is also a writer, about collaborating on a novella. He seemed pretty excited about the idea, so I told him I would shoot off some concepts I have to him (there are 3 novella ideas rattling around in my brain at the moment) and see if he digs any of them, and once we're both finished with the projects we have going, we might do this thing.

5. Even though the YA fantasy has been on hold for quite some time, I have every intention of getting back into it ASAP. I still love the idea for this book, and I want to get it done a s quickly as I can, while still making it as good as I can get it. With other stories I've been writing, I haven't been able to devote as much time to it as I'd like, but I'm hoping that will change in the near future.

6. The horror novel is on hold for the time being. I need to flesh it out a bit more before I can continue on with it.

7. I've been thinking about doing NaNoWriMo this year. For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMO is an event in which during the month of November, you basically write an entire novel. 50,000 words is the goal. I thought it would be a good challenge, and I came up with two novel ideas I'm kicking around. The only thing holding me back is that Both ideas are SF. One is hard SF, and the other is more of a screwball comedy taking place in SF setting. I'm not very well-versed in the genre, which is why I'm skeptical about trying either of these ideas for NaNOWriMo. But, we'll see. I may decide to do it yet.

So, those are the things that are on my plate these days.

But back to what I orginally set out to talk about here. Happiness.

I get way too much time to think these days, and I'm going through a lot of bullshit in my life right now, yet I realized today, that I am quite content with my life at this point. I'm confused by this, because I figure with everything going on, I should be hanging out of a window fifty stories up, wondering if life is really worth it.

But I'm not.

Despite everything going on, I've been spending an enormous amount of time with my kids. Right now, I get them every other week, and the time spent with them has been amazing. The kids and I have had a great time playing baseball, going to the park, taking the dog for walks, or just staying at home and watching a movie, or even building a fort for them in the living room. It's been wonderful, and I marvel every day at how I played a part in the creation of these beautiful human beings.

On top of that, I got married on August 22nd. It was a small, outdoor wedding, and rain threatened to interrupt it the entire time, but the day went off without a hitch. Not a drop of rain showed up, the temperature was just perfect. My brother and his wife even made it up, despite living in a different country, and my brother served as best man, while my wife's sister was the maid of honor.

We didn't have a lot of people there (between 40 or 50) but it was great. I preferred having only those closest to us present. One person couldn't attend, and I was disappointed, but it still worked out great.

So, I am now on my second marriage and it is world's apart from the first one.

In my first marriage, I was demeaned, controlled, and I felt worthless. It got to the point where I used to call work and ask if I could go in, just to get away from that atmosphere. I was made to feel like I didn't matter.

My new wife, is caring, supportive, and with her I feel like can accomplish anything. She never puts me down. Instead, she encourages me to strive for my dreams, and she'll do anything she can to help make them a reality. For the time in many years, I don't dread coming home. I look forward to it. I love waking up in the morning and having someone beside me. Even the days when we're both in the house doing our own thing, I still feel comfort just having her nearby. I've never felt this way with another person, and at times I feel like I don't deserve someone as wonderful as her.

Which brings me to the point that I brought up at the beginning of this blog: When I'm at a stage in my life when I'm this happy, I suddenly don't always feel about writing about the walking dead, people disemboweling each other, monsters, demons, or any other topics which make the horror genre. Which might be where these ideas for fantasy and SF stories have come from all of a sudden.

Maybe once I start learning how to cope with being happy (yes, it's been long enough that I actually now have to learn how to handle happiness,) I can use it to my advantage for writing in the genre which I have known and loved for many years.

In the meantime, we'll see what my brain comes up with for stories in the meantime.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Third and Fourth Born

Yes, I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything on here. Life has been busy and pretty much kicking me in the balls lately.

So, before I finish off the "Happiest Days of my Life" series I began several months ago, here's a bit of an update as to what's been going on the past few months.

1. I submitted a story to an anthology, and still have not heard back as of yet. I'm hoping that this is a good sign and the story is still in the running.

2. I moved back to my hometown of North Bay, Ontario. It is a city I have always hated (still do, as a matter of fact) but I get to see my kids and that's all that matters.

3. I got married for the second time in my life, and I could not be happier with my new wife. She is the most wonderful person I have ever met and she is extremely supportive, especially with my writing. She is very uplifting and encourages me to follow my dreams. I'd be lost without her.

4. The book project that I have going with a few other authors has been put on hold temporarily due to unforeseen circumstances. Hopefully, we will be putting it out in the near future.

So, in the last blog I discussed the birth of my second child. In this third and final installment of a series where I decided to discuss the four happiest days of my life, I will talk about the birth of my third and fourth children.

Yes, I am aware that the first two got a blog each to themselves, but I decided to combine the last two for various reasons, which I will go into later.

For now, on with the show:

March 19th, 2004:

In those days, I worked as a screening officer at an airport here in North Bay. It's not nearly as exciting as it sounds. While at work, I got a call from my wife, to tell me that she had started to feel labor pains. I asked if she wanted me to come home.

Apparently she was still at the birthday party of a friend's child, and she wasn't ready to leave yet. So, I hung up the phone and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I ended up finishing my shift, which ended at 8pm. I rushed home, wondering what the hell was going on.

When I got there, imagine my surprise when I find my wife sitting on the couch talking to her sister, who just happened to show up on our doorstep when her little sister was in labor. Wht's even more amazing is the fact that I don't recall her asking me for money once while she was there that day.

So, what happened?

Well, since everything was okay, we were finally allowed to have our home birth. So, my third child, another boy, was born at our home at 8:30 pm. Yes, only half an hour after I got off work, we had a child. Amazing how things work out sometimes.

So, now we had another baby in the house. A beautiful little boy. Only problem was, we had no idea what we were going to name him.

For each of the two older ones, we had the names picked out months before they were born. For whatever reason, we had yet to decide on a name for this new bundle of joy.

We spent about two hours discussing it, and tossing out ideas to each other, until I finally made a suggestion and we both agreed it was a good name. And we kept it, and signed the paperwork and our child finally had a name.

Then I realized that we had 4 or 5 friends that had kids with the exact same name. I was slightly disappointed, but looking back on it, I don't regret it. It really is a good name.

He's five years old now, and he is the exact opposite of his older brother. While the older boy is sensitive and introspective, this one is very outgoing and rambunctious. I see the older one being a poet, or musician or another type of artist, while the younger I think will be an athlete of some kind. Maybe a football player.

He likes to joke around and he's very silly. He craves attention. There is never a dull moment with him around.

He is such a joy to have around.

August 1st, 2005:

The fourth child, I am saddened to report is the only of my four children at whose birth I was not present.

By that time, the mother and I had separated.

I was sleeping in that day, as I had played in a bar the night before and I was really tired. So, I get a phone call in the morning, waking me up. I had half a mind to not even bother answering the phone. Especially when I looked at the caller id and saw that it was my soon-to-be ex-wife calling.

Still, I picked it up, probably out of morbid curiosity, and was informed that I was the father of another beautiful little girl. I was told her time of birth, weight, and name. I mumbled something, I can't really remember what, and hung up the phone. I think I was in shock.

I lay back down, but I couldn't get back to sleep. I imagined in my head what my new baby looked like. I was sad that I wasn't there to see her being brought into the world as I had with my other children. I was really upset that I hadn't held her yet, even though she was more than a few hours old at that point.

That was not only one of the best days of my life, but also one of the worst. I felt like a failure as a father to not be able to be there during the birth.

I should have been there, but circumstances prevented it from happening.

She is four now, and is the spitting image of her older sister. They even look alike, and the younger one tries to emulate her older sister.

She is very outgoing, just like her older sister was, and rarely displays any form of shyness. She is playful, and very imaginative. She will make up games to play on the spot, that may seem odd to us as adults, but she is very creative in what she comes up with.

She is such a cutie. I couldn't imagine life without her.

So, the reasons I chose to do the two younger children in one blog are:

1. It's been a long time in between posts and I wanted to finish this series and move on to other things.

2. There isn't as much to these stories as there were to the first two. they were longer births and longer stories.

I don't wish this in any way to take away from the births of the two younger children. I love them just as much as their older siblings. I have no favorite when it comes to my kids. They are all equal in my eyes.

So, this concludes my series on "The Four Happiest Days of My Life." I hope that one day they will read these blogs and know that I still do, and always will, remember the day they were born as if it happened only yesterday, and that they will know that I love them and would do anything for them.

If you're reading this, thank you for taking this journey with me. It has been wonderful to relive those memories, and I hope to share more such memories in the future.

Thank you to my children for all the moments of happiness you have brought to me. Life wouldn't be the same without you. I love you all.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Second Born

August 18, 2002

It was a beautiful day. My wife, daughter and I were spending the day with my parents on the deck in their backyard.

We enjoyed some good conversation, cold drinks, and barbequed steak with baked potatoes. All in all, it had been a great day. Except that my wife had been complaining about stomach pains most of the day. I kept asking if she wanted to go home, but she said she wanted to stay.

By the time we got the baby ready to go and drove back to our place, it was after ten PM. We put our daughter to bed, then I proceeded to play some boxing on the Playstation.

I had only got a few rounds in, when my wife came into the room and said that she thought she should call the midwife.

"Why?" I asked. Stpuid question considering she was nine months pregnant.

"I think I'm in labor."

So she picked up the phone and, from where I was sitting, I could hear her talking.

"I think I'm in the early stages of labor. I just thought I'd let you know.....No, no. I'm fine."

Apparently, while they were on the phone, the midwife had taken it upon herself to time the contractions. He feeling was that my wife was further along than she had thought, and we should go to the hospital, now.

Of course, my wife had been through this once before, so she knew what she was talking about. Nevermind that the midwife had already delivered over a hundred babies. "Oh no," my wife said. "I'm okay. It's just the early stages yet. I probably won't have to go to the hospital until the morning."

Of course, in my mind, I wanted to tell her that perhaps she should listen to the midwife. She may know what she's talking about. However, I have learned something through two pregnancies. Never argue with a pregnant woman. It's an excercise in futility. So, I kept my mouth shut.

Finally, the midwife was able to get her point across and make my wife realize that we needed to get to the hospital NOW!

We called my mother who came over to watch the 18 months old, and we then left for the hospital. When we got there, I realized I had no money to pay for parking. Luckily, the supervisor for the security guards was an old high-school friend of mine and happened to be in the parking lot writing tickets. I told him what was going on and he placed a note on the windshield telling the other guards not to ticket my car.

With that problem solved, we made our way to the maternity ward, ready for the next arrival to our family.

Once again, we had hoped for a homebirth. However, there were complications with the pregnancy. The complication being, there was too much amniotic fluid. This meant that when her water broke, the amniotic fluid could rush out, bringing the umbilical cord out before the baby. If this were to happen, the cord could strangle the baby. This meant that not only did we have to have the baby in the hospital again, just as a safety procaution, it also meant that my wife hed to be examined by an obstetrician.

So, the doctor walks in the room, very gruffly examines her, announces that she is seven centimetres dialated (meaning, midfwife was right. She was pretty far along.) then without telling anyone what he was about to do, breaks her water with his finger, successfully pissing off my wife. But, before he could get yelled at, he rushed out of the room, never to be seen again.

What began next was a few hours of seven centimetres, two centimetres, and so on. For whatever reason, the uterus wasn't only not dialating, it was going back down. WTF?????

It took six hours for the baby to come. I had learned my lesson from the last time, and I didn't crack jokes nearly as much. Again, I got to cut the cord, but still wasn't allowed to catch the baby. Apparently, I was remembered from last time.

Soon, I was holding my new baby boy in my arms.

Again, I made all the obligatory phone calls from the hospital room. In doing so, I learned that my daughter had woken up and my mother took her to their house so that we could take the baby home and gets some much needed rest.

First, my wife declared that she was hungry and wanted McDonald's. (No, I'm not kidding. She actually wanted McDonald's) So, we went through the drive-thru with our baby who was only a few hours old (yes, I corrupt my kids early in life). As we were driving home, my friend Marty happened to be crossing the street while we were stopped at the light. So now, I'm hanging out my window yelling "WE HAD A BABY!!!!"

Finally we get home, and sleep. We slept for maybe six hours, then decided that it was time to introduce the 18 months old to her new baby brother. Unsure of how this would go, my wife had concocted a speech in her mind that she was going to give to this child that had the attention span of a goldfish.

The speech went something like: "Honey, you have a new baby brother now. This doesn't mean that we love him anymore than you. We love you both the same. Would you like to meet him?"

That's the short version. Hers was much longer, and it's been awhile, so I can't remember it word for word.

Turns out it didn't matter.

We walked through the fron door and I had just set the carseat with the sleeping baby in it in the front room and was taking off my shoes when my daughter ran into the room looked right at me and yelled: "BABY!"

Apparently my mother got to her first and already explained the situation.

Our baby boy is going to be seven this August. He is a very quiet boy, who prefers to be in a room alone flipping pages of books and looking at the pictures. He is very sensitive and will cry if he even thinks you're mad at him for any reason (I'm told he gets that from me). He also has a good sense of humor and loves to laugh.

And so ends the story of the birth my second child. Not as humorous as the first one, I know, but it still is one of my favorite memories.

Thanks for sharing this memory with me,


Thursday, June 4, 2009

The First Born

Febrary 5, 2001, 5am

I was in the process of recuperating from the hustle and bustle of a wedding day. My wedding day to be process. The day before, I married my high-school sweetheart, and after the ceremony and reception, then all the photos and doing meet and greets with the guests who showed up, I was tired. It was about 1 am by the the time I fell asleep.

At 5am, when I was woken to the sweet sound of my new bride's voice screaming at me "I THINK MY WATER BROKE!" And I did what just about any man would do in that situation. I freaked out. I started to panic and asking her what she wanted me to do.

So began the process of a very long process. First thing I did was page the midwife. My wife had a thing against doctors and had her heart set on a homebirth (many of our relatives, however, kept advising against it and being the no-backbone people we were, agreed to have the baby in a hospital. We did, however still go with a midwife instead of a doctor because of the personal contact we got, and because it was basically no holds barred in the delivery room. We could do it anyway we wanted.)

The midwife called back almost immediately and I explained the situation to her. I asked if we should go to the hospital, and she told me it was still way too early for that. She told me to make sure that my wife was comfortable, and to wait it out. I hung up the phone, and my wife and I promptly went back to sleep.

When I woke up a few hours later, I found her on the phone telling everyone that she was in the early stages of labor. I'm pretty sure she even called the people at Blockbuster to inform them why we weren't showing up to rent movies every weekend, just in case. This, by the way is a bad idea. If I were to give any young couple expecting a child advice for the birth of their firstborn, it would be this: DO NOT EVER CALL ANYONE TO TELL THEM YOU'RE IN LABOR. Except, of course your doctor/midwife and anyone who is going to be a support person in the delivery room. The reason I say this, is because when you inform people that you are in labor, you then recieve phone calls every 5 minutes from well-wishers to find out how things are going.

So, in order to make sure that my wife got a lot enough rest so that she would be well-rested for delievering the child, my job was to man the phones and inform said well-wishers that "no, she hasn't had the baby yet" and "yes, we will call you when the baby is born."

This went on for two days. Yes, my wife was in early stages of labor for 2 days. We didn't get to the hospital until late February6 but it may even have been late enough to be the 7th, when her constractions were starting to get closer together.

I will say this, a good way for women to help take their mind off the contractions is to sing, or recite a poem out loud. It won't make you not feel the pain. of course, but according to the mother of my children, it helps you to bear it a little more.

My wife, took to humming through the contractions, which resulted in what I thought was a hilarious situation. We recieved a phone call from the midwife who asked my wife how she was handling the contractions. My wife responded, "Oh, not bad. I find humming songs during them helps." At that exact moment a particularly strong contraction hit, and she dropped the phone and ran around the room, yelling "OW! OW! OW! OW! OW!"

So, I picked up the phone, and I heard much laughter and then, "Nice song!"

Okay, back to the hospital. I found out, that jokes are not appreciated in the delivery room. I also found out that apparently the husband isn't supposed to sleep when you're in the delivery room for 14 hours. (I'm pretty sure the picture of me sprawled out on the hospital bed and using a rather large birthing ball as a pillow sitll survives).

So, the night pretty much consisted of myself and my mother-in-law taking turns walking with my wife down the hallway, since we were told that walking speeds up the birthing process. My father-in-law spent most of his time in the waiting room, probably hoping that we'd hurry the hell up.

And then the moment finally came. They had my wife on the bed, and the baby was on it's way out. During the night it never hit me until this point that I was actually going to be a father in the very near future.

Of course, when I get stressed out, I make jokes. Usually at the most inappropriate times. Just as the baby was starting to come out, the midwife turned to me and asked if I wanted to catch the baby. I ran to the back of the room and yelled at my wife, "GO LONG!" To which the midwife responded, "Okay, you are no longer allowed to catch the baby."

Which, was all right with me, really, since I have never in my life held a newborn and I'm sure in my current state of anxiety, might have dropped the baby. So, I think all-in-all, it was for the best.

Then I watched as my child came out of my wife. It's a surreal experience, really, when you see that head come out. Once the shoulders make their way out, that tiny body just basically slips out. And then I saw the midwife holding my child.

Just as the baby came out, I heard a nurse (who really needs to go back to nursing school and retake the anatomy course) yell, "It's a boy!" and my heart leapt with joy. I had a son. A beautiful baby boy. The midwife walked the baby over to me and handed me my son, who was apparently missing his penis. Turns out it was a girl, and I gazed down at this little bundle of joy. I even got to cut the cord (and resisted making any jokes, as this privilege might have been taken away from me as well) and then I started making calls to family members to inform them of our new family member.

I'll never forget my father's response when I told him. "Congratulations, I guess." I was later told that he was in shock from becoming a grandfather for the first time.

It was less than a half hour after I spoke to my mother that she arrived at the hospital. I had the baby in my arms and I asked her if she wanted to hold her. My mother shook her head and said, "No," obviously nervous to hold the child. It took about two minutes before she asked me if she could hold her, and I saw her eyes light up when she looked into her granddaughters eyes for the first time.

Of course, by the time we got home (another good thing about midwives is that, as long as they're are no complications, you get to go home pretty much right away) everyone was exhausted. So, my wife went straight to bed, and I went into the living room with my new daughter. I walked her around the room until she fell asleep, then I placed her in the bassinet we had in the living room and I fell alseep on the couch.

Now, the worst thing you can do to a new parent is tell them that their baby will be up every two hours crying. People had told me this. I had prepared myself for this. So, I was up every two hours checking to see if she was still alive because I couldn't understand why she wasn't waking up. She was okay every time.

I would also like to add to any men reading this: "Daughters are wonderful. Every man should have them. They truly are a joy to have around and they will inspire you to do things you never thought you could ever bring yourself to do. Every dad who has played Barbies with their little girl knows I speak the truth."

I hope one day my daughter reads this, because I want her to know that I remember the day she was born like it happened yesterday. I also remember on nights when she was cranky, I would put on music and dance her around the room until she fell asleep. And then I would sit in a rocking chair and hold her and just looked on her as she slept, thinking to myself how amazing it was that I had a hand in making something so beautiful.

My daughter is 8 now. She is still a lovely little girl and she is extremely smart. She amazes me all the time at how brilliant she is. She is fun-loving and and inquisitive and doing very well in school. She is also very sociable, and makes friends very easily.

I love my little princess, and I wish I could offer her more than what I can. It breaks my heart that I don't get to see her every day like I used to, but I'm hoping that will change one day soon.

Well, that is the story of my firstborn. The first part of a series of posts I call, The 4 Happiest Days of my Life. Hopefully, the second part will be posted soon.

Take care,


Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last night. Why? Because it's a weird movie, it's a well-written movie and, despite being kind of sad, it's also a movie full of hope. And right now hope is what I need.

I've been going through a lot of stress in my life right now, and for the last few weeks, I've been at the point where everything either irritates me for just flat-out pisses me off. I'm irritable and over-emotional (as those of you who are following me on Twitter got to witness this past Monday).

So, I watched this movie for the first time in a while, and it brought up a few things in my mind.

I won't give away the plot for those of you who haven't seen it, but I will say the movie asks this question: "If you could erase the memory of someone to alleviate the hurt of losing them, would you do it?"

Now, while watching this movie, a lot of my own memories were brought up, especially my ex-wife, since the movie deals particularly with removing the memory of an ex.

So, I began to remember how hurt I was when my marriage ended. I remembered all of the bad memories I have of her (and there are a lot of bad ones). Our marriage was never really a happy one. We have had more bad times than good. There was a lot of pain and we both threw hurtful words at each other recklessly. The years I was married were definitely painful ones for both of us.

I began to ponder that if it were possible to erase my ex from my memory, would I do it?

I must admit, it's very tempting. I mean, to be able to rid myself of all those painful memories, which still haunt me today? Where do I sign up?

But there are a few things which make the decision more difficult.

First of all: Yes, we do have a lot of bad memories. But, we have a lot of good ones too. I can still remember the day I graduated high-school and when, after the ceremony, I found her in the lobby and I remember how beautiful she looked in her light blue outfit. I remember the time we got caught in the rain, and we laughed so much when we got back to my place soaken wet. And when I first proposed at the waterfront of Lake Nipissing, at night under the stars. I remember the day we became parents for the first time. I remember how nervous I was to be a father at such a young age, but I also knew that i had someone with me, and that made it so much better. It helped alleviate almost all of my fears.

Which brings me to second point: If I were to erase my memories of my ex-wife, what about my kids? Would I forget that they're my kids? I wouldn't take that chance. My kids are too important to me.

So, to answer my question at the beginning of this post: Would I erase the memories of my ex-wife if I had the chance? Not on your life!

Anyway, because of the stressful situation I am going through right now, I need some happy thoughts. So, what I will do starting tomorrow (or tonight if I feel up to it) is over the next week or so I am going to post 4 blogs detailing the 4 happiest days of my life. That's right, I am going to relive my 4 happiest memories: the births of my children. Why? Because I'm stressed out, I'm depressed and I need this right now. I need to remember the times that I truly felt happy in my life, and what better way to that than to remember how the most important people came into my life.

I hope you will join me as I relive these memories. These stories are quite funny and I hope you will find them entertaining and heart-warming at the same time.

The first of these posts will be tonight or tomorrow and I expect to have them done in the next week or two. They will not be in any order of favoritism. They will go from the oldest ot youngest. So, please tune in for a series of 4 blogs that I am calling: "The Happiest Days of My Life."

Bye for now,

And if you're reading, please leave a comment to tell me if you're interested in reading this series at all.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Words That Changed My Life

I'm not a believer in anything spiritual. I don't believe in prophetic visions. I do, however, believe that sometimes things happen that we cannot explain. Not miracles exactly, just little events that happen that we have no idea what caused them.

I remember my mother once telling me a story about how she was visiting a friend who lived in a small house near the beach. When my mother looked out the window, she saw a man jogging down the beach. As she watched this complete stranger whom she had never met before, the only thought that went through her head was, "Someday, I'm going to marry him."

She didn't know where the thought came from, or why she would think that about someone she'd never met before. But, for whatever reason, she felt certain that one day she was going to marry him.

That man was, in fact, my father and they have been married now for almost 37 years. My mother claims that the voice she heard in her head was God. I'm more skeptical about it than she is.

I tell this story to show you why I put so much weight on what comes next.

Here's another story that my mother told me. When I was a baby, one night in particular, my mother was holding me in her arms and rocking me. She heard that same voice in her head again. This time it was about me. The voice told her, "One day, he's going to help people." Ever since she told me that story, I made it my life's goal to fulfill it, but have failed so far. I thought maybe I would help people through the music I was writing, or through the stories I was also writing. Then I thought maybe it was something more obvious like I was destined to be a counselor or something. I even spent a few months taking a Social Service Worker course in college until I realized I hated it and dropped out.

Then, I went through a long depression because I thought that if I can't even help myself, how am I going to help others?

Those words have haunted me for a long time, because I felt that if I didn't do something to help people, I was destroying this hope my mother had for me. It's only recently that I realized that when my mother had her prophecy (for lack of a better word) about my father, neither of them went out of their way to make it happen. It just happened. So, if this prophecy (again, for lack of a better word) about me is going to come true, I need to stop trying to make it happen and just let it happen. If it doesn't, well, it's still a cool story to tell people.

I was thinking about this the other day to show how these words from my mother affected my life. I based major decisions on these words that were told me before I reached junior high. I wish I had the wisdom back then to realize that if it's going to happen, it'll happen without my help and that I should let it be.

Maybe it will happen and maybe it won't, but it's still a cool story to tell.

I love you, mom.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Over the past few weeks a few people have talked about meeting idols. Some people talked about how they'd like to meet their idols. The others did meet their idol. For some it was a good experience. For others, not so much.

So, since I had the opportunity to meet my idol many years ago, I thought I'd talk about that experience a bit. But first, a bit of back story.

When I was 16, I felt alone in the world. I wasn't a jock, a smart kid, or a pretty boy. I didn't feel like I fit in anywhere. I didn't really have any friends. The only talent I had was music. Music was my life and the only thing I really wanted to do. I had no aspirations to get a "real job". I just wanted to play music.

So, when I was watching some music videos on TV, I came across a video for a song called "Cubically Contained" by the Headstones. For those of you who've never heard of them, they are a Canadian band who released their first album in 1993 and played together until 2003, when they split up. The song was so dreary and depressing, I was able to relate to it. I fell in love with it and bought the album, and then fell in love with every song on that album.

I listened to it over and over again, relating to songs like "Reno", "Picture Frame of Rage," "Pretty Little Death Song." Finally I had discovered that I wasn't alone. There were people who felt the same way I did.

I bought their two previous albums and listened those to death. I'm pretty sure I wore out the tapes eventually. (Yes, I come from the era of the cassette tape).

So, skip ahead three years. I am now in college (for a very brief period of time) and the headstones are slated to play the campus bar, The Wall. Of course, I got tickets.

So, here I am, standing in the back of the bar, buzzed from drinking a lot of beer, and chain smoking while I watch the opening act, Danko Jones. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a tall guy wearing a black trench coat. So, I glance over then turn my attention back to Danko. Then, about a minute later, my alcohol-soaked brain clues in to who is standing next to me. Hugh Dillon.

Hugh Dillon is the former lead singer of the Headstones and current singer of The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir. He has also acted in the movies Hard Core Logo, Down and Dirty, Trailer Park Boys: The Movie, as well as a few otehrs. He even read for a part in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, but lost out to Michael Keaton. He starred in a mini-series last year called "Durham County" and is the current star of the Candian television series "Flashpoint."

Now, you must understand, as lead-singer/songwriter of the Headstones, this man was a god to me. This was the guy who was writing all those lyrics I was relating to. And here he was standing two feet away from me. I was awestruck.

So, after summoning all the courage I had (I don't know why I was so nervous. At this point I had already been playing music on stage. As a matter of fact, by this point, the largest gig I had played was in an arena in front of almost 2,000 people). But I was terrified to tell this man how much his music had meant to me. Probably because in his songs and on stage, he didn't seem to be very approachable. He was known for spitting on audience members, as well as throwing lit cigarettes into the croud. He acted like a total asshole on stage.

But, I did manage to summon the courage to walk up to him. And, as best as I can remember, I said, "Man, I am a huge fan. Your music has meant a lot to me over the past few years, and you guys really influenced me as a musician."

Now, I expected him to tell me to fuck off. But he looked at me and said, "Thanks, man. It means a lot to me when I hear that. I really like hearing that my songs help people get through tough times." Then he bought me a beer and went to prepare for his performance.

When the Headstones took the stage, I pushed my way to the front. I was so close I could have reached out and touched Hugh. And during the show, he spit on me.

So, I will now reprint the lyrics of one of my favourite Headstones songs. This is from their first album "Picture of Health" and it's entitled "Cut."

You cut my hand on a razor man like in response to a request
We talked about living
Worried about dying
There's only one move we got left

Well it just goes down forever
Hatred it'll never die
And man you're talking crazy
The whole thing just escapes me
Like a suicide let it ride

I built a dam out of hatred man
Blocking out everything that I knew
I couldn't help thinking as my mind ceased blinking
There must 've been some light that got through

Well it just goes down forever
Hatred it'll never die
And man you're looking nervous
And you claim you don't deserve this like suicide
Let it ride

You cut my hand on a razor man
Smoke a long cold cigarette
We talked about living
Worried about dying
There's only one move we got left

Well it just goes down forever
Rolling down my spine
And man you're looking nervous
And you claim you don't deserve this like suicide
Let it ride

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pissed Off!

I'm sitting on my couch listening to some angry music. I tend to listen to music that suits my mood. Currently the angry music blasting from my stereo speakers is The Headstones first album Picture of Health.

Why am I pissed off? Because right now I feel like I've been betrayed by a friend. My friend Dan told me he would call me today to help him do some work renovating a bathroom. I was to be paid for this service, and to tell the truth, I could really use the money right now. I talked to him yesterday and was told that he would call me this morning. He never did. I know he's home because he lives two doors down and I can see his truck parked in front of his house.

The least the fucker could have done was call me to say that the job was cancelled, seeing as I booked the whole fucking day to do this goddam job.

Let this be a lesson to all of you....Never work for your friends. It almost always ends badly.

That's it for now.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Okay, so it has been a weird (and I mean weird in a good way) couple of weeks. In the last few weeks or so, I got engaged (this will be my second marriage) and I recieved my first ever acceptance letter. My zombie story "As in Life, So in Death" (Thanks to Kurt for the awesome title and to Bryan for help with the idea.) will be published in the March issue of SNM Horror Mag. Yes, I am aware that it is not a paying market and some professional writers may scoff saying that if it doesn't pay, it's not worth the time. However, seeing as I sent my first story away 15 years ago, I am just proud that an editor thought that my story was good enough to be published over others. To me, this is the first step to what will hopefully be a lucrative and career in writing horror fiction.

So, all in all, things seem to shaping up nicely. I still have one more story that's being considered and I have a few more in the works. My main goal is to finish work on my Book story which is a project I have going with a few other writers. I won't say too much about it now, but perhaps in the coming months I can share more about it. It's moving along at a quicker pace now, and I should be able to finish it by the weekend (tonight would be preferable, but I'll take what I can get.)

Also, recently I turned 29. The agreement I made with myself was that I would be published by the time I'm 30, and I reached that goal. It feels good when we reach the goals we had set for ourselves.

I've also been trying to do research for a story that I want to send away to a theme anthology that hasn't been going so well. If anyone can get me some info on the Appalachians, specifaclly in Nova Scotia, I would be eternally grateful. Enough to buy you a beer.

Okay, I've got writing to do so that's it for now.



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Greedy Bastards

I have come to a conclusion over the past few years, one which has offended many people, but I still hold to the fact that I believe it's true. The theory is this: Everything any one of us does, relates back to our own greed or selfishness in some way, shape, or form.

Like I said, it's not very popular among people I've talked to over the past couple of years about it.

But, here's a prime example: On Saturday I was leaving a thrift store after buying some books that I found. Leaving at the same time, was an older lady who was having trouble getting to her car because of all the ice on the sidewalk. So, she asked me for help and I agreed. She took me by the arm and I led her to the driver side door of her car, and I even to her bag of purchases and put them in her trunk. I even overheard her make the comment, "There are still some nice people in the world." And I walked home from that store feeling pretty good about myself.

Now, I'd like to believe I did this because I'm a nice person and I just wanted to help out this nice lady. However, there is the lingering thought that I did simply to make myself feel good. Or, I did it so that I can tell people about it and look like a nice guy. Or, even I did it because I thought she might offer me a ride home, or some other type of reward for my gesture. I don't know for sure what my my true motives were, but if I did it simply to be nice, why am I advertising on my blog.

So, do you see my point here? I hear all the time about these rich guys who donate a ton of money to charity, and everyone goes around saying what great people they are. In my opinion, if they were such great people, they wouldn't be advertising what they were doing. They would donate anonymously so that no one would know. But, the fact that these people do know, makes me wonder what the true motives really are.

The man who jumps into a lake to save a drowning person, does he really care if they live or die? Or does he want his picture in the paper under the headline "Hero"?

This is something that has been on my mind lately, and I just thought I'd give anyone who reads this some food for thought.

Until next time,


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bit Of An Update

Okay, as of yesterday, I am now one year older. I turned 29 and every year on my birthday, it becomes a time of reflection on what I have not accomplished with my life. I don't so this intentionally, it's just how it goes.

I had made a deal with myself two years ago that I would be published by the time I'm 30. I first began writing when I was very young and just learning how to write. I started sending stuff to be published when I was 15. Of course, by the age of 17 I was a cocaine addict and remained one until the age of 27. So there's ten years of writing nothing but shit under the influence of drugs. Which I hope is what accounted for the fact that everything I wrote was complete drivel.

Now that I am clean, going on 2 years, my output has been a lot better. I have a few stories currently being considered with different magazines and I am currently working on at least a few others. Plus, I am still working on my novel Hatred, but because of these stories, production on the book has been delayed temporarily.

There are a few other things going on in my life right now. One of them I am not allowed to say yet. But I will hopefully be able to tell everyone within a week or so.

But, the one bit of news I can tell you, is that so far, it looks like I'm going to be at CONtext this year. Writers such as Christopher Golden and Gary Braunbeck will be there, and I am stoked. This will be a good year for sure.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'll be back in a day or two with a rant, because this is a good way to get my frustrations out.