Welcome to Bliss

Welcome to Bliss….you won’t enjoy your stay.

Available at Amazon on ebook and paperback. In Shadows of the Wicked; prepare to be creeped out. Remember, the Family is waiting…
https://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Wicked-Michael-R-Collins-ebook/dp/B07CW18PPW/

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A Wee Pride Post

June is the month of Pride. For all us LGBTQA’ers out there, this is the month where we get out there and show the world that we are here, we are queer, and there ain’t a damn thing they can do about it.

Unfortunately they can, they do, and they do it often.

I was going to make this long diatribe on togetherness, dealing with oppression, being true to yourself, and building community. But this isn’t new ground for any of us. We’ve been doing it for a long time now. Or at least trying to. Sometimes we get in our own way. Not all the letters of LGBTQA get along, but now, more than ever, we HAVE TO stick together because we’re on the same side. The same can be said for our allies. They are fighting for us when they could just as easily keep quiet.

But Pride isn’t all about us vs. them. It’s a time when we can really step back and look at our community and strengthen ourselves. We have rampant health issues, depression, and suicide. We have gaps in our community that people fall through. This isn’t a club with a secret handshake and membership dues. It’s a group of people who are fighting to live their lives unobstructed and build a world of inclusion.

It’s really scary right now for everybody. We’re all afraid. Queers are afraid because of the progresses of the last few years being rolled back. Women and non-white folks are afraid because racists and misogynists are coming out of the woodwork like angry little termites. Those of us that can’t afford that vacation house in South France are afraid because we make less money the harder we work. The disabled, sex workers, elderly; the list goes on and on. Yet I take one slight umbrage in the fact that the proponents of hate and ignorance are just as afraid. They are afraid because we fight back, because we no longer sit in silence and inaction. Their fear makes them dangerous, though, and we are seeing more and more backlash everyday.

We have a morally bankrupt, egotistical, racist, misogynistic toddler as a president. Our elected representatives are so self-assured of the lies and back room deals they’ve been doing for so long, they blatantly shove it in our faces now. Things are going to get worse before they get better. I hate to say it, but it’s the truth.

But we cannot back down. Let me repeat that: we cannot back down.

We need to celebrate, though. Party our asses off in celebration of all our diversity, the battles we have won, and those that paved the way for us. Let’s celebrate and enjoy life. Then let’s get down to business because there is a lot of shit still to do.

Pridefully yours,
-Your Weird (Bi) Uncle Mick

OFFICIAL RELEASE – In Shadows Of The Wicked

FOURTEEN YEARS IN THE MAKING!!

In Shadows Of The Wicked is officially out. Released to the world, this ghost story is a tale of terror unlike any other. Of all my releases, this one seems to mean more than the rest. I started this story in 2004 and I’ve lived so many lives since then. I’ve hit rock bottom, I’ve risen to the top, and now here I am with the one thing that stayed an inexplicable constant.

I do have high hopes for In Shadows Of The Wicked, only because I feel its my best writing and its an amazing story. In places the metaphors are very personal, though I hadn’t intended it at the time. Each of The Family, as well as their ‘Other Place’, and the Darkness are allusions to parts of myself. Most specifically in regards to depression and those dark parts of myself that I have battled over the years. But over all I think its a fun and scary ride that I know readers will enjoy.

Available in ebook and paperback! The Family is waiting.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/198100114X

Excitedly Yours,
Your Weird Uncle Mick

Queer books for teens

While I’m frantically working on getting the finishing touches for ‘In Shadows of the Wicked’ completed (expect updates soon), I do have some news on Pale Winter Sun.

There is a website called queerbooksforteens.com, which is a database to collect and categorize queer books for teens. I think this is an awesome idea because it makes it easier for teens to find books that they can relate to. As queer lit and queer teen lit, grows, having these sort of resources is important. The other cool thing is they break the stories down in terms of who is represented, how they’re represented, and to what degree. This makes it easier to find stories to connect with.

Pale Winter Sun has been included on Queer Books For Teens, which is awesome. Previously, they only listed books through publishers, but recently opened it up to self-pub. I’m glad they did because there are a lot of fantastic works out there that are being created through self pub.

It seems that as the cause moves forward, for every two steps forward we have to take one step back. That’s why it’s important to have these sort of resources. Local community centers, organizations (such as BiNetUSA), and social media groups are just as important. We need to utilize, and support, all our resources if we want to keep the forward momentum going.  We have to keep forging ahead for ourselves and for future generations.

Speaking of which, don’t forget that Our Stories is still collecting and posting experiences of our Bi and Bi+ community. A project of The Bicast, Our Stories believes that its important that our community shares its experiences (good and bad) with each other. Feel free to submit your audio recordings, or emails to ourstoriesbicast(@)gmail.com. If you are not comfortable with recording your own, then I’ll record it for you and you can listen to it in the sultry sound of my voice.  🙂

Queerly yours,
-Your Weird Uncle Mick

The importance of schedules

First off, the good news! My story ‘Hell is here, and it’s trying my patience.’ has been accepted by Vagabondage Press for their upcoming Ink Stains anthology! To say I am happy is a bit of an understatement. I honestly didn’t think I would get this one published because, well, it’s weird. The plot revolves around the opening to hell showing up right off the Downtown onramp. Then nothing happens and continues to do so as people get used to living with constant abject horror possibly showing up at anytime. File under dark comedy. Either way; YAY!!!

But what I really brought us all together for is to talk about the importance of schedules. It’s been on my mind lately because I haven’t been nearly as productive as I should be. (Okay, yes, I am never  as productive as I think I should be and will probably never meet my output expectations.  I’ve learned to live with that.)  A recent conversation with a friend about scheduling life and creative output put me in gear to finally do something about it.

Thinking back to before we moved to PA (nearly a year ago!!) I wrote, did promo, practiced bass, ran a radio show/station, slept, spent time with Mel, and even had somewhat of a social life.  All this while working 50+ hours a week.  How the hell did I do that?!  I’m working roughly a 45 hour week, very small social life, and no radio show, yet I feel that I’ve gotten nothing done since moving here.  To be fair, the first year in a new place is busy, and I expected that.  The little slave driver in my head does not except this as an acceptable answer, but he can go suck eggs.

The key is scheduling.  Both Mel and I have set work schedules and life has settled around that, as it is wont to do. Now to plan my life around that.  I could rail against the injustice of having to plan our lives around our jobs and not vice versa, but it is what it is. Planning out work, and play times, is the key to getting anything done. And the key to planning is finding balance. I could just play DOOM and my bass all day and write in those moments I can sneak in but for me that isn’t a good balance. Priorities can help dictate how you even everything out so you become happy with your output schedule. I want to write more, feel more productive, and increase my output time therefore my emphasis will be on that.

Play time is important too.  You have to make time to relax, or do things that help you relax. I’ll slip in some DOOM when I can because it’s a relaxation thing, but not a priority.  Bass is a priority, but it rides that line of relaxation and creative output so I try to make actual time for it. Sometimes you just want to say ‘hang it all, Imma watch a movie and eat a whole box of Mike and Ikes’.  And that’s cool, we all need a break, as long as it’s just that and not a habit that cuts into your schedule.

Here’s mine, it’s simple and easy.  It’s also mutable, if I need to change it I can, but will only do so if I see a benefit to it.

It’s that easy.  Monday, Friday, and Sunday, Mel is off so I like to spend time with her.  Mondays and Tuesday, I usually go to work early and I don’t have a lot of time.  Promo work has usually been a Tuesday thing for me, so it works out.  Wednesday and Thursday, I usually go in later which leaves me with more time to settle in and write.  Saturday and Sunday I’m off; lots of time to work and get some R&R in so I don’t burn my ass out. (And yes, I am domesticated and I actually like getting housework done, for those of you who noticed.)

Of course keeping to it is the name of the game. A commitment to stick to what you’ve laid out is what makes the whole thing work. Sometimes just knowing that I committed myself to a schedule will help me power through those times when I’m just not feeling it, or I think my head is too empty of ideas to get anything written that day. Other times, things come up and I’m not able to keep to it.  That’s fine.  I just make up for later on by putting extra time in on another day.  See, that balance thing again.

Scheduling is important for life in general, but especially so if you want to get anything else done besides that ol’ 9 to 5. Because, let’s face it, most of us don’t earn a paycheck doing what we want. Let’s make the rest of the time count, otherwise, what’s the point?

Punctually yours,
-Your Weird Uncle Mick