I’m not a fan of the holidays.

Sure. I love spending time with my family, basking in the nice weather, and enjoying the overall atmosphere. But, I tend to give myself the license to avoid, neglect, and put off doing the things I need to be doing.

“But it’s the holidays” is a lame, but real justification for my procrastination. Well, the holidays are over and it is time to get back in the groove and climb out of my hole.

All morning at the day job, I’ve been trying to muster up the motivation to get going. Only if I had the energy I had as a teenage with the discipline and focus I have as an adult. I decided to dig into my youth in search for said energy…

Oh, the angst. Oh, the anger. Oh, the energy.

I have a lot on my plate and, although it is kind of overwhelming, it is god damn exciting as well. The next couple months are gonna be a doozy.

cover_3_mockupFirst up, submissions close for Aphotic Realm Magazine #3: CLASSIFIED on Feb. 1st.

If you’re interested in submitting a story, go HERE.

About a week after submissions close and we finalize the line-up, I get to look forward to locking myself in my office and becoming one with Photoshop and InDesign for a few weeks while I design the interior of the issue.

I made it sound like a drag. It’s not. It is time consuming, but I tend to find a zen-like state during the process.

Shadows_of_the_Mind_Cover_for_KindleAlso, Mandi Jourdan’s Shadows of the Mind is up for Kindle preorders right NOW! You can secure your copy HERE.

The set release for both paperback and Kindle is just around the corner on January 16th, 2018.

Mandi has been nothing but a joy to work with. Although she has almost entirely worked with Dustin exclusively on this project, I only hear great things (and I can also access/spy on email conversations.)

Go and check on this beautifully written collection of stories.

ITCHFULLWRAP_democoverrrrrrrrrrAnd then there is this little thing I’ve been putting together.

I had a handful of short stories that carry a similar theme. Relationships. Human Relationships.

I never found a home for them, but I never really searched for one either. So, I decided it was time I made one. I’m sick of them collecting digital dust in a folder. I’ve also decided to include the first chapter of SIPHON at the end as a sneak peak! I’ll be releasing this next week (maybe the 18th), and it will be on both paperback and kindle, but the kindle version will be free up until my 30th birthday (Feb. 8th)


This fuckin’ story has been stuck in my head for years and years before I even had the desire or know-how on how to write it. It feels so good to finally get it out of my head and onto paper.

Drugs. Sex. Violence. Mommy Issues.

Again, I’d like to thank M. R. Tapia and Hindered Souls Press for putting this out and just being awesome in general.

Visit for more details.

Ebook Pre-Orders:

Amazon Link

iBooks Link

Nook Link

Kobo Link


Gunnar Larsen (ArtStation) and I are truckin’ forward on the first issue our dark fantasy/horror comic, Void & Valor. There was a few hiccups last year, mainly his computer taking a shit, but now that he’s got the tools, I think he found a groove and we can get to the gettin’.

Keep an eye out for this in the following months. It’s nearing completion!



Now it’s time to stop avoiding my duties while writing this blog post.



Doom & Gloom

I’m in for a treat today.

Not often does my lovely home in The Valley of the Sun get a gloomy day that isn’t part of a dust storm or violent monsoon. Might even get some god damn rain.

It’s the perfect kind of day to put on a pot of coffee and sit back with a nice book, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to do take advantage of that today. I got less than three hours of sleep, have some time-sensitive obligations.

I’m not sure the coffee will even work.

Last night, the wife and I got home from our local watering-hole around midnight. Usually, on a work night, we’d both settle in to our nightly routines and be conked out around 1 AM at the latest.

I shouldn’t have turned on the television.

Naturally, the station was set to the Investigation Discovery Channel, and we just happened to catch the start of a documentary about stalkers. It touched on a variety of them, but the program kicked off with the story about Christina Grimmie.

Sad and scary shit. You can read about her HERE.

My wife has this personal rule: No fucked up documentaries, movies, shows, etc. after 10 PM for her. She has stuck with that rule for as long as we have been together (pushing a decade), but even she was enthralled by it.

So it’s about 1 AM and the show is about to end, until they a announce a Part Two where they confront some of the stalkers we’ve learned about in the previous hour…


Let’s just say I didn’t lay my head down until close to 2:30 AM.

Now, I’m not one to have nightmares or bad dreams, but last night was different. I was in that void somewhere between asleep, aware, and awake — never fully reaching a complete restful state. The whole night, I had the feeling that someone was watching me through my window. I had little dream blurbs where this same person (which I never saw, but felt their presence) was observing me doing the daily mundane things do.

Then my alarm went off at 6 AM, I went to work, and now I currently want to die.

Silver-lining: I think I got a pretty good story idea out of it.

Which means I’m gonna jam my gloomy day tunes and do a little writing sprint to get the gist of the story down.

But first! Everything needs a soundtrack.

This is the soundtrack to my gloomy days. Let the thunderous lows dig themselves deep into your gut and the eerie, but beautiful, vocals pockmark your flesh with goosebumps while the foreboding melodies extract the creativity from your brain.

I Guess It’s Time



For awhile now, I’ve been meaning to start a blog and update it weekly, but I never seemed to get around to it, but New Year New Me, right?

What provoked me to actually start it was a blog post from a writer buddy, William Marchese. You can read it here:

To sum it up, he spoke about the daily grind and asked the question, “But does it sometimes make you want to throw in the towel? 

I thought about it. And I responded on Twitter:

I just think, “What the fuck else would I be doing with my life?” And the answer is: Instead of being miserable and productive—I’d just be miserable and bored.

But, I didn’t want to leave it at a little quip of a response. I feel like this topic is a good “starting point” for this blog thing. So here we go…

Fuck No.

Sure, I’ll have my bouts of doubt, but isn’t that what makes us human? The day I meet a person with no self-doubt, is the day I start preparing for androids to take over the world–because they’re not a real person.

Or they are, but they are a sociopath and I’ll probably be murdered shortly after.

I see creativity, or the need to create, like a disease. It can be crippling at times. People with that disease (you know if you have it) run a high risk for burn out. Yet, when we decide to give ourselves a “day off”, all we can think about is the next story, the next idea, the next song, the next whatever… Then we feel guilty for not pursuing it at that moment.

And that moment you finish that story, that song, that whatever, that little spark of satisfaction becomes your addiction. You’ve just signed a contract. You’ve just put on your running shoes, vowing to chase that high for the rest of your life.

You have fabricated something out of nothing. You have latched onto a fleeting thought and, to the best of your ability, molded it into something you can share with the world.

Sure. Maybe the world won’t like what you’re sharing.

Sure. Maybe you won’t make a living out of it.

So. Fucking. What?

Remember when I said creativity is a disease? Well, that story you just wrote, that song you just composed, that image in your head you finally put on canvas… That was a tumor you have just extracted from your body. Relish the moment before another one takes its place.

If you quit now, what will you do?

Work a dead-end job for the rest of your life? Probably.

But here is what would really happen: Two, five, ten years down the road and that itch to create hasn’t gone away, and you’re going to curse the day you decided to quit because all you did was lose time, lose practice, and miss opportunities.

Creation hurts. It is grueling and painful and exhausting. Just ask your mother when she gave birth to you.

Life imitates art, art imitates life.

Get back to the god damn grind!

Put on a fresh pot of coffee, strap yourself to your chair, and hunker down. It’s going to be a long, arduous life.

With that (and since I mentioned androids earlier), here is a song from my favorite band about Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (aka Blade Runner)