Pro-Rape Signs in Shop Windows

A few months ago I moved to McKinney, Texas, shortly before this whole police brutality fiasco went down. Recently I noticed that many of the local shop owners have placed pro-police posters in their windows and this has really bothered me.

So I want to set up a hypothetical situation:

Imagine that a football player commits a rape, horribly traumatizing a young woman. Let’s say it’s caught on video or something, so that it’s pretty clear that he did in fact commit the rape. Then lets say that some feminists and other justice advocates start protesting, demanding that this rapist be ejected from the NFL and charged with a crime that’s appropriate to the act he committed. Does that seem unreasonable?

Now, let’s imagine that local shop owners start putting up signs saying “We support football” or “We believe in NFL players.” Imagine how you would feel if you were a woman walking down the street in that town. Would you feel safe? Would you feel equal? Would you feel as though the local community cares about your feelings or your safety?

The shop owners could argue all they want that they are merely supporting the sport and not the rapist, maybe because a few people talked trash about the NFL in general, but in reality they are lashing out at a group that merely wants a basic level of justice. The shop owners would be blatantly showing support for a rapist.

This is what black people and police brutality survivors face here in McKinney, TX. These shop owners can argue all they want that they don’t support brutality, but the timing of these posters tells a completely different story. They put up these posters as a direct act of defiance against a group who just want justice, peace and racial equality. Yes, these posters are pro-racism and pro-police-brutality.

The Officer Did Nothing to Hurt Me

The officer did nothing to hurt me that night.

I looked like someone who had stolen a DVD player.

It’s easy to argue that I was not harmed,

that I’m just being a baby.

I should be thankful he realized I was the wrong guy.

I should be thankful I’m not black.

They have it much worse.

I should be thankful I didn’t flinch in fear.

I’d probably be dead if I had.

The officer did nothing to hurt me.

He did not hit me.

He did not lie to my boss or a judge.

He did not steal my money or possessions.

He didn’t even arrest me,

for looking like someone who had stolen a DVD player.

The officer followed all the proper procedures.

No jury would call it brutality.

All he did was give me the most terrifying moment of my life.

Most people don’t know what it feels like to stare down the barrel of a gun and see a shaky finger hugging the trigger.

I looked like someone who had stolen a DVD player.

My most degrading moment.

He declared in one swift motion that my life could never be worth as much as a DVD player.

Every day I see that weapon, and his finger hugging the trigger.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will never escape that moment.

It will be with me until the end.

Forever reliving a two minute period from my younger days.

But it wasn’t the officer who hurt me.

It wasn’t the gun that hurt me,

or the trembling trigger finger, or being forced to lie on the ground.

What hurt me were my friends and family who continue to stand behind law enforcement,

who would rather have me in pain for the rest of my life, or see me dead,

than to live in a world where their DVD player might get stolen.

Another Novel Preview

I’ve finally finished the rough draft of my next novel, which I am now calling Daughter: The Journals of Allihence and the Wild Ones. I still need to do a bunch of work on it to fill in some of the gaps and correct some issues so it’s still going to be many months before I can put it out on Amazon. I posted the first couple chapters some time ago then found this chapter later on. I can’t remember when I wrote this. I think it was during one of my more recent edits, but I think it does a good job portraying what our main character is up to.

Anyway, here it is, the second preview of my next novel:

I keep holding this leather pouch, all folded up to contain all my papers and thinking, this is me, right here in my hands. All these things happening would make for a great story to fill these pages.

But there’s a problem and the problem is me.

What are the elements of a good story, Dear Reader? Well, there must be conflict. We’ve got that, between us humans and those carathlings. We need a plot and a couple subplots. Journey across a new continent as I redefine my journal. We need a setting. We started on a beautiful island and have entered a fascinatingly complex forest. Check. We need a theme. That, I believe, would be my underlying belief that humans and carathlings can find a better way of interacting. Humans don’t need to be forced and carathlings don’t need to hunt and breed us. Check.

We need a protagonist. That would be me. The protagonist must have character flaws. I assume I have those covered. I’ve got some strengths as well. The protagonist must have unique or complicated but identifiable emotions. I don’t think that’s a problem with someone like me. Check, check and check.

However, there’s one important part of any story that you can never forget.

The protagonist must take a direct part in the story. They don’t need to be the big hero, but no reader wants a story about someone who sits on the sidelines writing about what’s going on. You can’t write a good story about someone who follows the rules and does what she’s told. You can’t write a good story about someone who refuses to take risks.

Life is like a story, Dear Reader. Look at your own. Have you made the choices of a protagonist or are you a supporting character? Either way, you are part of a massive story that we are all writing every moment of every day. We each have the power to affect the experience and outcome of that story.

This book is my life. Right now I have a choice. I can make this a story or it can just be a journal.

I feel powerful holding this that represents my life, here in my hands. It’s all mine. This book belongs to me.

Like how my life belongs to me. Like how my story belongs to me.
I do not belong to the carathlings.

That is why I have been talking with the person who will remain unnamed, the person pushing us toward an escape plan. In case we are not successful, I will not write the person’s name. Here on these pages, however, I will admit that yes, I am supporting our escape attempt. I have an obligation to the spirits that govern our emotions and the gods who created our world.

I have an obligation to write a story.

The Water Glass Collection

I guess I’m almost a month late in actually writing a blog post about this but I have released another book which I called The Water Glass Collection: 10 Regular Old Short Stories. I guess that title isn’t totally descriptive since there’s a few quirky and weird stories in there like the one about the fourth grader who convinces his inhalant addicted mother to ditch his grandfather’s funeral to go to a heavy metal Hannah Montana cover band or the one where I became the lead developer programming racism chips.

Water_GlassMaybe it’s a terrible title for a book, but it basically means they aren’t science fiction and some of them are my attempt at more classical kinds of storytelling. The title story, The Water Glass is arguably my best piece from my early years, about an old man whose doctor tells him he’s no longer allowed to drink water. There’s also just a hint of porn in this book. There’s also a story or two that could be argued that they are science fiction but I felt they weren’t sciency enough so they go in this book.

As with all my books, if you would like a free copy just contact me and promise that if you like it, you’ll write a review on Amazon.

Ramblings About How I Cured My Depression

Since Robin William’s suicide I’ve been thinking a bit more about depression and my own relationship with it. It’s always been a very important topic for me. I used to be very depressed to the point where I made plans to kill myself and I think once when I was about twelve I even walked out the door with the intention of following through with it.

One day in seventh grade I remember telling half the class that I wished I was dead. Someone told me that wasn’t cool to joke about and I insisted that I was not joking and I genuinely wished I was dead. I never heard back about that. No one mentioned it to the teacher as far as I know, or if they did, she didn’t bother to address it.

The depression felt absolutely inescapable. For many years I envisioned my adult life as nothing more than going to work, coming home and watching television by myself. My greatest dream in life was to have 500 channels to distract me from how much I hated life. Having a successful career or even a loving girlfriend seemed completely unrealistic for me.

Then I went through a magical transformation in my late teens. It didn’t feel like I overcame a chemical disorder in my brain. It felt like reality itself had altered, like the whole universe had changed shape and meaning, as though God had finally presented Himself to me. If I went back in time to tell myself how happy I would be in my adult life, there’s no chance I would have believed it. I was so deep in depression that I wasn’t able to even accept that this kind of happiness and satisfaction was possible in human beings.

I think that may be one of the keys. A depressed person must first accept that happiness, true happiness and satisfaction absolutely is possible. But how do you communicate that? Just telling someone that it’s possible isn’t going to do it because it’s a feeling and belief that lies much deeper than our logical reasoning.

For so many years I’ve wanted to try to explain how I did it but it seems like every year that goes by it gets harder to frame into words and I lose the sense of what it felt like to be depressed.

What I do know is that I made a conscious choice to stop being depressed. I know that’s offensive to many people, but I truly believe it. However, I also remember when people would tell me that I could just choose to be happy. That didn’t help me. Just insisting that happiness is a choice is not doing anything to help people with depression.

On the other hand, insisting that depression is all chemical, calling it a disease, telling people that they are helpless, and implying that the cure can only be done through a doctor, I believe is even more damaging. I think that attitude was a big part of what kept me trapped for most of my childhood. There were actual authorities on the subject telling me that I was helpless, making me believe that there was nothing I could do to affect my own life.

I know that there are many chemical and biological reasons for depression. It frequently seems like a disease to both the sufferer and the medical professionals, but I feel that reminding people of that is an extremely counter-productive approach. People should feel empowered to make changes. Calling it a disease strips people of that power.

I never went to counselors for my depression or even really talked about it beyond that one day in seventh grade. I’m certainly not suggesting that people be that closeted about it, but in a way, I think it helped me by not telling anyone. I was never put in counseling and never prescribed drugs. I came out of my depression completely on my own. I think that counseling may really have helped me get out of it earlier, but I am convinced that taking regular pharmaceuticals may have helped temporarily but would ultimately have made me even more trapped in my negative perspectives.

However, my depression left me right around the same time that I got deep into marijuana and psychedelic use and started selling drugs. You could argue that the mushrooms, LSD and other psychedelics I took at that time changed the chemical makeup of my brain and allowed me to find a better life. There’s probably some truth to that, but at the same time I’ve known many depressed people who smoke weed and take psychedelics and see no improvement. In a very small number of cases it even seemed to make it worse. So simply going out and having fun with recreational drugs is not going to cure depression.

So what was it that really ended my depression? It’s hard for me to know for sure, but I think it had to do with me just kind of giving up on a lot of stuff. Again, not something I would recommend for someone fighting depression. But in all honesty, I kind of gave up on life. Specifically, I gave up on trying to find a girlfriend, but also, in general I gave up on my drive to be happy and fulfilled. Instead, I decided to just start smoking pot until I forgot how sad I was. I figured when the marijuana stopped killing the pain I would start drinking and if that didn’t do it I’d move on to coke and eventually heroin if that’s what it took to to make myself feel good.

I hesitate to tell this story because it sounds like absolutely horrendous advice to give to someone with depression. And it would be. In no way am I advising folks to take this approach.

On the other hand, it’s what worked for me. Life is such a strange, backward, counter-intuitive experience. Perhaps realizing that was part of my solution. I had to recognize that there is no logical road map for life and there never will be. Each and every person must carve their own path.

There were other things during that time that I think kept me safe from dangerous drug addiction. I got some minor drug addictions to marijuana and tobacco and may have felt myself becoming addicted to a couple other things like a form of speed that was still legal, but nothing that would kill me.

But I think what it came down to was that I was willing to make the decision to end my depression. I was willing to make the sacrifices. I was willing to give up all respect from my family and society as I went down my path of illicit drug use. I was okay with the risks. I knew I might go to prison or wind up dead in a ditch. I accepted that. At the time I didn’t realize how safe marijuana and mushrooms really were so I always felt like I was taking this huge risk. I think that sense of risk helped tremendously. Even though the fear was unpleasant at the time, the next day, after facing my fears of trying that new mystery drug, I felt empowered, like I’d overcome something, even if I hadn’t enjoyed the high. In the long run I think that was a major player in the end of my depression.

Another thing I think, was simply the marijuana community in Bellingham, Washington. That was just a unique and happy coincidence that the small-time drug dealers and users in that town were such supportive and caring individuals who accepted me for who I was without judgement. I guess that’s one solid piece of advice I can give in all this rambling: surround yourself with people who support you and accept you for who you are. Reject the others… but reject them compassionately.

On the other hand, you also want to surround yourself with people who are honest with you, who aren’t going to lie to you to protect your feelings. For me, I am happiest and most comfortable around people who I know aren’t going to sugar-coat things. If I catch someone lying, even if it’s coming from a place of love, I lose trust in that person and I lose a measure of self-respect. If I see them being brutally honest with someone, even if they’re being harsh, that can make more comfortable knowing they probably aren’t harboring unspoken judgments.

Is that good advice? I don’t know. It seems so counter-intuitive. Many folks insist that you should be supportive and make people feel good even if that means not being totally straight with them. That doesn’t work for me but it might for other people. But I wonder if many people who take that attitude are also suffering depression. It does seem kind of rare to see someone who is ruthlessly honest and straightforward who is also suffering from deep depression, but maybe that’s just my own perceptions fucking with me.

But maybe the best advice I can give is to experiment. Don’t just accept your depression lying down. Try new things. Try new ways of looking at life. Get to know new kinds of people. Gauge how all this makes you feel over time and keep experimenting. If something helps you feel empowered or like there’s a beacon of hope, then explore it further, even if it doesn’t directly help your depression. Search for new and different ways to truly convince yourself that escape is possible and that you deserve that escape, and that your friends, family and society are all rooting for you.

On the other hand, I’m no psychologist or counselor. I’m just one dude who happened to cure his own depression and is now writing a rambling, disorganized blog post about it. Who knows if I have any idea what I’m talking about.

Violence in New Eden

A couple weeks ago I quit my job after realizing I needed a break from programming for a little while. Now I am happily unemployed and for the next month or two, am not going to be thinking about writing code. Hopefully this will give me the chance to do a mental reset and regain my passion for development.

My latest book of EVE Online stories.In the meantime I’m working on my writing. I finished compiling and editing my fourth book, called Violence in New Eden: 4 Brutal Tales in the World of EVE Online and published it on Amazon Kindle. I have also nearly finished my fifth book which I’m calling, The Water Glass Collection: 10 Regular Old Short Stories. This will be a collection of my non-science-fiction shorts. I’m hoping to get that published by next week when I go away to a five day sex party in the woods. After that I go back to a novel that I’ve been working on since my teenage years.

Anyway, Violence In New Eden is EVE Online fan fiction so the players are the target audience but the stories should be understandable to most science fiction fans.

I am in need desperate need of reviews. People don’t like to buy books on Amazon unless they can read a couple reviews. If you want to read my books for free and promise to write a review on Amazon, I will be happy to send you a free copy. Just contact me and ask. This goes for all of my books on Amazon until I get, lets say, 10 reviews per book.

If you don’t want to contact me or write a review, you can download this book to your kindle for free on these dates:

  • July 31, 2014
  • August 1, 2014
  • August 29, 2014
  • September 12, 2014 (I intend to make all my books free on this date)
  • October 17, 2014

The Pioneers: My Latest Book

Earlier this week I released a new novella called The Pioneers, about a group of children who are born from an artificial womb and raised by robots so they can colonize a distant planet that could never be reached by living humans. It’s time for their first trip to the planet’s surface and our main character, Sophia, is getting nervous. Meanwhile, some of the other kids are inventing conspiracy theories about the aliens they think might live there while the others are just trying to survive and be kids.

thePioneersI don’t recall exactly where this story idea came from but it might just be my favorite out of all the stories I’ve written. It does have one major flaw that I see, even though nobody has pointed it out to me yet, which is the question, “why didn’t the system designers just program an advanced autopilot instead of making the kids fly the dropship?”

So to that I say, “Shhhhhh… It’s just a story.” Focus on the other messages and don’t worry about that.

This is also the first time I’ve hired an editor, which I think I should probably do again once I have released the other two books I plan on putting together in the coming months. She made a whole lot of minor changes.

If you do read it, I would love it if you could take a few minutes to review it on Amazon as just a review helps out a lot.

It’s only 99 cents on Kindle, but if you’re like me and think everything should be free, I will be running free promotions on the following dates:

  • 5-29-2014 and 5-30-2014
  • 6-12-2014 and 6-13-2014
  • 7-11-2014

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KEY4GZ2

Kalin is an Author, not a Blogger

A while back I really started thinking that I wanted to make a change to this website and my writing endeavors. I’m not under any delusions here: I know no one is reading these blog posts. I decided to really start promoting this site and bought a couple audio books on the subject to give me some ideas. One was called Kill Your Blog, a tiny little book written for authors. It had some good points about why a blog just isn’t the best way for writers to get readers. It helped remind me that the book format has always been my preference and this blog has just been about keeping myself writing and isn’t properly goal-oriented. I have wanted for a long time to put my stuff together and start selling it on Kindle. I haven’t done it in the past, partially because of laziness and partially because I have this idea that it’s just wrong to try to make money off art. In the long run I still believe that but in the short run, if I want to make a difference in the world and actually have people read the things I write, I need to be an author, not a blogger.

So I went on elance.com and hired a designer to make some book covers.new-beginnings_cover04I then put together Stories of New Beginnings: 10 Science Fiction Short Stories I Wrote in High School, taking the stories I had on this website and putting introductions for each, describing how they affected me and my life during that period. 

Next, I hired a copyeditor to help clean up a novella that I’ve been sitting on for a couple years called The Pioneers. I intend to release that in a week or two… or three… after I go through her edits. After that I will be compiling another book called Violence in New Eden, a collection of four short stories and novellas set in the universe of EVE Online, though those stories are currently available here on this website but will be removed once I start trying to charge money for them. After that I’m going to put together the non-science fiction stories into an anthology called The Water Glass collection. Then I’m going to go back through all of those books, hire an editor for each, and clean them up a bit. After all that, I will either start compiling my true stories into a collection in one or two editions that follow my path to becoming an anarchist, or I will go back to writing the novel that I’ve been working on since I was 15.

I’m still going to try to keep up with the facebook and twitter thing, since it’s actually pretty easy using the buffer app to queue a bunch of posts while I’m on the bus. I never stopped to think about just how many anarchist and atheist memes are out there and just how many little articles you can find about our government and police doing messed up things.

I still need to make some adjustments to this website to reflect my change in priorities. I’m still gonna keep blogging, but I’m probably going to keep it to about one a month, just to maintain a presence. I still have a big backlog of stuff to post and I want to get around to that, but not before I finish my books… but now that I look back over this post, I think maybe I shouldn’t try to force myself to make entries here as I think this one turned out kinda boring.

Dave’s Looking At Porn

I don’t know why I’m even posting this, honestly, except that I just don’t like throwing away old writings. Just a stupid story I thought was funny at the time.

I sat at my desk writing code like any other day at work when my boss Dave stepped out of his office and said, “I have an announcement, everyone. I just want everyone to know that I’m not looking at porn–” he shook his head nervously. “I mean, I am looking at porn, but I’m doing it for legitimate reasons… so if anyone hears any moaning from my speakers or sees naked people in my window, I’m looking at porn for the company… I just didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea… I’m not doing anything nasty back here.”
Chris swiveled around in his seat. “Um… that’s gonna require a little bit more explanation… like what kind of porn, and how do I get on board with this project?”
“I’m checking out this guy’s portfolio–we’re thinking about hiring a new designer–and this guy is pretty good but he’s done a lot of work for porn sites so I have to go check ’em out and see what he can do.”
“So did he give you a bunch of usernames and passwords to these sites?” Chris asked.
“Yeah, actually. He gave me about half a dozen different logins.”
“Dude! Hook me up!”

Yuck! Kalin is promoting Kalinbooks

I heard about this product called buffer, which is a twitter and facebook client that allows you to post to both simultaneously but it keeps the entries in a queue and posts them at specific times per day, so it queues them up for several days in advance. I decided I’d give it a shot since most of the successful writers on the internet these days are leveraging social media. I’ve never been one for self promotion and all the nonsense on facebook and twitter has always bothered me, like photos of what you had for dinner and whatnot. However, I think I’m gonna try to stick with it for a while, making two or three posts a day. It’s pretty quick and easy. I can do it while I’m riding the bus to work.

It’s harder now it seems. I used to spend 20-30 bucks a month on advertising on google, but that didn’t seem to bring in too many new readers. On my old website, Get to Know a Marijuana Dealer, one $50 per month ad on HighTimes.com made my site explode and I actually had lots of people commenting… though that was back in the days before we even had MySpace… like around 2001 or so.

People say that a successful blogger puts 80% of their time into promotion and the rest of their time into writing. That seems just backward and wrong to me, so since I started this blog in its current WordPress form back at the beginning of 2010, I’ve probably spent about 98% of my time on actually writing, which to me seems like the way it should be. Alas, this is a world full of advertising and promotions and I won’t be able to compete unless I do something to promote myself.

So I added links to follow me on facebook and twitter to my left sidebar and intend to keep the micro posts coming steadily. I even bought some ads for the facebook page which will come out in about a month, giving me time to build up a collection of posts before I start blowing money on likes.

On Twitter today I spoke with someone from worldlibertynews.com and offered to write articles on the subject of our current police state. They’re looking for news stories, which I don’t normally do, but I figure I can give it a shot. There are certainly a plethora of stories on police brutality and ridiculous laws out there right now.

Anyway, I don’t know what I’m saying in my rambling. I guess that I’m finally going to try to branch out away from this website to actually do some self-promotion.

KalinBooks.com is the ramblings of Kalin Ringkvist, a science fiction author with a passion for peace and freedom.