Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Most Uncomfortable Thing I've Written in Some Time.

This is probably self-explanatory as you read on, but here is the letter I wrote and am sending to two of my mother's friends from her younger days telling them she died back in 1997:


I’m not sure why it has taken me so many years to write this
letter. Perhaps it was easier to tell myself I was going to do it and then go
into denial not long after. Anything to avoid the discomfort of putting
together thoughts best left felt than expressed.
It isn’t easy to talk about a parent’s death, especially
when that parent dies at such an early age.
Denise Nadeau died in 1997 due to complications initially brought on by
Diabetes and eventually becoming renal failure. At the risk of sounding blunt,
she suffered quite a bit up until that point.
The Nineties was a difficult time for my mother. She entered
the decade losing feeling in her feet, often the first sign that a lifelong
Diabetic is starting to succumb to their disease. She wound up on a cane at first, which is how
she was when my father died of lung cancer in 1991, at the age of 48. Soon she
was in a wheelchair, but she refused to let that stop her, at least at first.
If you remember Denise Nadeau, and anyone who knew her seems
incapable of forgetting, you know she did not just give in to what was ailing
her. She kept working until she couldn’t
anymore, when the onset of Diabetic Neuropathy took the use of her legs and
left her hands like shaky claws. Her mind still worked and she did everything
she could to keep it working.
Unfortunately and to my living regret, she went through a
period where her health was too poor for me to take care of her alone or even
with the help of family and an aid. She wound up in a few different nursing
homes, a rather demoralizing fate for someone with such a brilliant mind and so
much left to contribute to society. Blue Cross did everything they could to try
and deny her care based on her age (early to mid-Fifties) and the fight to obtain
her Social Security was a lengthy one that eventually wound up in some sort of
victory.
I promised my mother she would not wind up in a nursing home
forever and I kept that promise. She came home in December of 1996. However, in
August of 1997, I entered her room one morning to find her in bed with foam
running from her mouth. She’d experienced a few seizures recently but this one made
her non-responsive. Rushing her to the
hospital merely resulted in her coming back to without the ability to process
information for more than a few seconds at a time. I suppose I’ll always bear
the guilt of not having noticed the warning signs of the night before due to my
own physical and emotional exhaustion.
My Uncle Mike, her younger brother, refused to allow me to feel that way
but sometimes, when I relive that night…
Anyway, she lasted another 4-6 weeks after that. My other
Uncle, her older brother, was a physician’s assistant specializing in renal
care. The speech her doctor gave us about her lack of chances and the option to
place her in hospice care was identical to the speech he’d given countless
patients at his own hospital. It suddenly became too real for my uncle and he
wound up retiring a year or so later.
Providence Hospital, always looking toward that next major
malpractice suit, found a way to get my mother out of their hospital and into a
nursing home/rehab facility in Royal Oak a few weeks before she died.
It’s funny: The day she died, I inexplicably decided to call
in sick to work. I kept wanting to go see her and something kept causing me to
delay leaving. A phone call came in early that afternoon from the facility
advising me my mother wasn’t responding and that an EMS had been dispatched. I hesitated
to leave even then, wondering if I should make myself available in case they
needed to call back (this was before cell phones became the norm). Eventually,
I decided the hell with it and drove over there.
I met the EMS workers coming off the elevator. Their gurney
was empty, so I figured this was yet another case of Mom pulled through a
seizure. As I rounded the corner, I actually heard one of the nurses ending a
phone call by telling the person on the other end to please call back ASAP.
Don’t ask me why, but somehow I knew I was being left a message. I said, “Hi, were you just calling me?”
I don’t remember a whole lot about what happened next. I was
taken into my mother’s room, where I had just peeked inside moments before,
only now I realized the bed wasn’t empty at all. The covers had been pulled immediately
asked where I wanted to send “the body.” I remember having no idea and being
asked to go through the Yellow Pages and find a funeral home.
I also remember sitting in the room with my Mother one last
time while some insane woman in the next bed over complained about me being
there. Finally, I remember just getting up and leaving without saying anything
to anyone.
Each year your card has come to the house she once filled
with her powerful energy, a house I still live in and will be losing soon
due to foreclosure, and each year I tell myself I’m going to write a letter
back and tell you what happened. If I have a reason for not having done so
until now, it is because the cards made me feel as if she was still here. My
reason for doing so now? Soon I won’t be in this house anymore and the cards
will stop coming.
So, that’s what happened. Hopefully my decision to wait is
at least slightly forgivable.

Chris Nadeau

Friday, December 30, 2011

(Right Wing) Christians For A (Stupider)America

I think I might have found the stupidest blog I've seen in years. It's called "Christians For A Moral America" and it regularly posts idiotic gems like this, where they actually view the phrase "Fuck hate" as ironic for all the wrong reasons.

There's also this one, where the author displays unbelievable ignorance and arrogance in equal measure by claiming not only a Christian theme to JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series, but also that any battle between good and evil is automatically a Christian theme!

In Tolkien's words:

…I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse ‘applicability’ with ‘allegory’; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author. (The Fellowship of the Ring 10-11)

Since the authors of this site have taken it upon themselves to police the thoughts and personal expressions of whomever they have deemed their enemies, who am I to refuse to return the favor?

It's on.


(By the way, in the tradition of fanatical cowards everywhere, their blog has disabled comments)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Best Compliment a Reader can Pay a Writer of Fiction...

"It was perfect, and it made me cry. You bastard!"



In the words of another great creator of fiction:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quote o' the Day

"Fundamentalist worship of 'free market' capitalism is the cause of our problems, not the solution."

-A Facebook poster

Monday, December 26, 2011

So much for name recognition!

Many writers agonize over how their names will appear on the covers of their novels and short story collections. Dean Koontz spent years trying to decide if he wanted to keep the middle initial "R" in his pen name. Kurt Vonnegut included "Jr." for years, only to stop later on when he realized nobody called him that and he was old.

When the pressure was on for me to decide how my name would appear, I went through the literary equivalent of wardrobe changes during a Broadway epic. Here are the ones with which I struggled before choosing what I now use:

Chris Nadeau
Chris A. Nadeau
Christopher A. Nadeau
C.A. Nadeau
C. Nadeau
Jose Felliciano

Okay, the last one is bullshit, but you get my point. Eventually, I settled on Christopher Nadeau, which happens to be my name, so it was easy to remember in a pinch. Besides, other than the young marine who murdered his child and wife, I hadn't seen the name used much. So, now I have a novel and nearly two dozen published short stories under that name and what do I run across on Amazon today?

This gimmicky pastiche of emails masquerading as a book!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Take me Home for the Holidays

Here is a comprehensive listing of my available writing and where you can purchase it as a gift for people who still see reading as an enjoyable experience as opposed to an unpleasant task:

If you're looking for something Christmas themed and irreverent, look no further than the Dead Christmas anthology. My short story "Midnight Service" is included in this collection. Available for 14.99 in paperback or 9.99 on Kindle.

Piggybacking off the Christmas theme, there's also my short story collection available through Amazon Kindle, From the Bridge and 7 Other Short Stories, featuring a title story that re-imagines the classic "It's a Wonderful Life" with George going after the man responsible for his worst misfortune.

For that cynical horror vampire who finds the "Twilight" phenomenon as repugnant as I do, there's my parody "Dusk," which also includes my unofficial sequel to a movie featuring a certain lovable alien whose departure rendered a young boy's life meaningless.
Both Kindle collections are only .99 cents, and you don't need an e-reader to purchase them.

Getting back to traditional publishing, I have several choices featuring my short stories. I'll provide a quick reference for the ones of which I am proudest:

The Dark Deeds in History anthology featuring my zombie/cannibal story "The Devoured."

The Triangulation: Last Contact anthology featuring "The Party."

The Shadows Within Shadows anthology featuring my disturbing novella, "Toilet Bums."

The Big Book of New Short Horror, featuring "Outside the Box."

Erie Tales: Tales of the Apocalypse featuring "Across the Pond."

And, of course, my novel "Dreamers at Infinity's Core" with its oft-rumored sequel in the works, is available.

Be safe. Spend money on me. Read my stuff~

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Multiple Submissions Dilemma.

Normally, I am opposed to simultaneous submissions. For non-writers, that is the term given to the process of sending the same story to two or more potential publishers at the same time. I usually have enough work that it isn't necessary, and with the amount of submitting I tend to do, it's easy to lose track of who has what.

However, I recently sent a flash fiction piece to a web publisher that advises it takes up to 75 days to respond. During that time, my friends at Open Casket Press sent out an email asking for stories to fill its Carnival of Horrors anthology. I was one of the authors contacted, as I'd recently been published in their Dead Christmas antho. Because I never do this, I figured I might as well send the story along with one other flash piece and see what happened.

Both were accepted. Then I received the following rejection in my email, prompting a longer exchange which follows:

Dear Christopher Nadeau,

Thank you for your submission to [our site] I regret to inform you that we are unable to use it at this time.

Two concepts here really nail the surreal aspect of the piece: the faceless friend, and the cyclical nature of the plot. My mind went wild with possibilities for what is going on here. However, I prefer when the surreal nature and cyclical aspects of a story have more direction, more support. Why is the "friend" faceless? How is it a friend at all if the MC wants to kill him? How is the friend recognizable without a face? In other words: what is the lack of face emblematic of? The same questions apply to the cycle. Without understanding more about where these concepts of bondage, facelessness, and the void-realm come from, there isn't much acting as foundation to the recursion. There's no anchor. Just throwing out ideas, but, for example, what if the facelessness represented the staleness of a relationship, and the cyclical nature represented the fact that we all keep trying to find new love when old love is lost. I can understand that as-is the author might think, "But this can go in whatever direction the reader wants!". That's all well and good, but when a piece is THIS open, this "meta", it feels like more outline than plot.
-- First Editor

I understood that the faceless killer/victim was being cycled from one person to the next, but there's no explanation of why each became a killer, or why they suddenly wanted to free the next man from bondage. The whole thing had an unreal/dream feel and I kept waiting for you to say that he woke up
-- Second editor

Unfortunately due to the insanely massive amounts of submissions in our slush pile, we cannot reconsider your piece at this time.
We wish you good luck in placing the story elsewhere.

My reply:
Thanks for the input. The story actually has been accepted elsewhere but I was unable to remove the submission.

Dear Christopher Nadeau,

Congratulations on your story's acceptance elsewhere, although I should point out for future reference that we aren't able to take simultaneous submissions at EDF because of our publication schedule and contract process.

Could you let me know why you were unable to inform us of your withdrawal, so that we can address the problem? Your assistance with this would be greatly appreciated, as we need to know if our contact form isn't working or if there's some other communication obstacle of which we are unaware.

Sincerely,
Yet Another Editor

My Second Reply:
I was never able to locate a method for withdrawing the story and the one email I sent apparently wasn't received. Normally I have a personal policy against simultaneous subs but this was a special case where a story was commissioned. I can guarantee it will not happen again.


Yeah, don't do what I did. I probably should have kept my mouth shut (or my fingers inert) but considering the time-line of acceptance of publication, I thought it better to just be honest and take any lumps.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Publishing Update Addendum.

"Dark Dispatches," the war-themed horror and science fiction anthology from Static Movement Press, following a brief editorial shake-up, accepted a second story of mine for publication. So now:

"So Man Nathans" and "Bringing Down the Curtain" will be appearing in this collection. I am specially pleased with the acceptance of the second one.




I'll post a link once it's available~

Friday, December 2, 2011

Publishing Update.

A few more anthologies featuring my work have been released. Check 'em out below and junk:








Volume two in the Pill Hill Press Monster Hunters series,(Volume I included a story by me as well) this one features "Emergence," my tale of a driven mutant hunter whose obsession blinds him to the real danger waiting in the shadows.

















Two of my flash fiction pieces appear in this Open Casket Press anthology, the second one to accept my work. (The first one is below)

















Never one to shrink from a challenge, I saw this one advertised and had to try for it. My story "Midnight Service" about a hapless pizza delivery guy who's tied up and forced to watch an insane minister try to bring back his savior using zombie black magic appears in this one.
















And in my apparent ongoing bid to refute my claims that I don't write zombie fiction, (see above) my ZOMBIE cannibalism tale "The Devoured" appears in this lovely Static Movement anthology.












And finally, one that just recently closed that features my short story "So Many Nathans." I included it because I thought the cover was cool:


Quote of the Day

"When some one tells you that you can't have Christmas without Christ, remind them you can't have Thursday without Thor."
-Nnedi Okorafor, author of lots of stuff.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

That Whole Saying "Merry Christmas" Thing.

Since my previous re-posting of a blog post by my alter-ego garnered lots of praise, generated discussion, and resulted in at least one person referring to me as both a "nut job" and a "lunitic" (Misspelling notwithstanding) I thought I'd share another of my favorites, albeit in slightly edited form.

This one was written in 2008, when I had a different job and sincerely believed Americans had learned a little humility when it came to consumerism, long before people at WalMart were getting dropped in the name of bargain hunting. Enjoy:



Each year I write some harsh, negative overview of the holiday season and those who observe it with such blind, consumer-based fervor. I would venture to guess most of the vultures have come to expect that from me. It’s what makes me so dad-blamed lovable and, in a few cases, desirable.


I don’t really have anything negative to say about X-mas and it’s less famous siblings this year. 2008 hasn’t really been all that bad for me, despite the national situation. Besides, something has reawakened in me this year, something less gloomy and a tad more positive.

Don’t get me wrong; I am still an angry, disgusted, outraged individual. I still exist on the margins of a society that would love to dispose of me if it could only figure out how to do it. I harbor no delusions that life is a wonderful thing filled with yummy experiences and candy cane romances. If I’ve gained anything at all this year, it is perspective. Bags and bags of perspective.

So this year as I look at my X-Mas tree all lit up in the family room and the few gifts underneath it, I allow myself to experience something akin to nostalgia. It has been eleven years since my mother died and at least eight since I celebrated this holiday with any enthusiasm. This year won’t be radically different, but it won’t be the same either.

Perhaps my feelings have changed in contrast to my fellow Americans. Where once they seemed poised to plunge headlong into stunning and repugnant excess during this time of year, they have been forced by circumstance to reign in their cattle-like behavior. People are doing everything they can to save money, whether by shopping at discount and dollar stores or creating Secret Santa lists so that each person can only focus on one person when buying gifts.

I’m not saying we have become responsible overnight and stopped spending money on frivolous things. I work in an industry that provides the most unnecessary goods and services next to the film industry, yet its profits have not shown a single decline due to the perceived need on the part of the consumer. Good for the company, good for me, but hopefully it won’t cause problems for everyone else further down the line.

The struggle to get people to again say “Merry Christmas” seems to have culminated in a victory. Such a ridiculous thing, really. I hate to agree with Bill O’Reiley on anything. If he said water was wet, I’d probably set about trying to prove it’s dry. But when he said anyone who is offended or has a problem with being wished a Merry X-mas is suffering from his or her own neurosis, he was right. I may reject the "Christian nation” claptrap the Religious Right loves to spew, but the majority population of this country still identifies itself as Christian. Whatever you observe that isn’t X-mas, there aren’t enough of you.

So do us all a favor: Instead of finding it offensive that someone would assume you were part of the majority, simply smile and nod graciously or thank the person while pleasantly informing them it’s not your holiday. .Don’t stupidly boycott businesses and demand equal displays because
THERE AREN’T ENOUGH OF YOU.

When someone tells me Jesus loves me, I don’t yell, “And Satan loves you!” the way a certain former Jewish friend once did. I nod and thank the person. Who cares? He’s doing what he thinks is right.

This year people can’t help but get back to the basics of this holiday season. There’s togetherness this year than I've seen since I was young. There will always be those pushy, obnoxious assholes that think their X-mas is the only one that matters, but for the most part, I’ve noticed people acting like human beings again.

So I really can’t be a Negative Nelson this year, much as I might want to be one. I gots to keep it real and be who I is. That’s pretty disappointing, though, isn’t it? Maybe I can compensate with some blasphemous activities.

I will be working a full day on X-mas by choice, so that’s a good start. What else can I do? Santa and Frosty displays in compromising positions? Star Wars action figures incorporated into a manger scene? The X-mas Story retold using Superman? Get my friends to wear Halloween costumes to go caroling door-to-door?

Whatever. Get over yourselves. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

GIVING THANKS FOR...WHAT, EXACTLY?

(Reprinted from the blog of my alter-ego "Scribe" from 2007)

Ever heard the expression that says the written word is a lie? It's bullshit.

I'll let that sink in for a few more moments...

And off we go! History tends to record the versions of events agreed upon by

those who were fortunate enough to record them and then silence anybody who

disagreed. Thus we get the false assertion that the Catholics were the first

Christians or that Columbus was the first European to step foot on the American

continent. In that wondrous tradition, we also get the enormous pile of rubbish

known as "Thanksgiving," the supposed day when a group of well-meaning English

settlers met an even more well-meaning group of Native Americans and they chowed

down peacefully on cranberries and pumpkin pie.

Historically speaking, there is little proof that an actual Thanksgiving Day

feast took place at all. In fact, a day of "giving thanks" to the fanatical

Pilgirms usually involved fasting. And the wonderful, devout and loving

Christians seeking religious freedom? They were actually a group of such extreme

fanatics that their obnoxious and vehement opposition to any other lifestyle

created such hatred in their fellow English that it forced them to flee for

their lives.

So, instead of a wide-eyed group of optimistic settlers, what we really had was

a wild-eyed group of dangerous religious whackos looking to establish God's

kingdom on Earth. An attitude, by the way, whose insanity has filtered down

throughout the centuries into the evangelical protestants we know and love and occasionally

elect to the office of President to this day.

We do know for a fact that these God-squatters were ill-prepared for the weather

when they arrived on Plymouth Rock. We also know that the Wampanoag Indians were

the only reason they survived. Whether or not an actual sit-down feast occurred

where Indians were allowed to dine with whites (unlikely considering they were

viewed as both heathens and savages) the fact is that the survival techniques

taught to the Pilgrims are the only thing that aided them in surviving. By the

way, approximately half of them didn't survive .

Historians also tend to agree that the actual feast, which might have lasted as

long as 3 days with or without Indians, most likely occurred at the end of

October and not November, which is conveniently one month from the Eurocentric

Christian holiday known as Christ-Mass, the day a kid was born whose name would

be used to justify what happened the following year.

Now that the Pilgrims had the survival techniques they needed to establish God's

Kingdom, it was time to expand. Sadly, those pesky original inhabitants took

issue with the whole "God hath decreed this land unto us" thing and bloody

battles ensued. Being both Christians and Europeans of the 1600's, they

naturally blamed the Indians for their unreasonable reaction to being invaded

and responded in kind. Besides, the Pilgrims had the last laugh what with all

those marvelous exotic diseases they brought with them to help build the Kingdom

of God.

So this Thursday, what we will be giving thanks for exactly? The fact that a

group of lunatic religious nuts were able to survive and influence the formation

of the only Free World nation with antiquated religious views that persist into

the 21st Century? The fact that an indigenous people were systematically wiped

out "'cause they weren't doin' nothin' with the land no-how?" Ooo! I've got! We

should be thankful that we were lied to about an event that probably never even

happened, the same way blacks were told the Civil War was about slavery!

Did I mention that large celebratory feasts in those wonderful days were often

held in honor of a victorious slaughtering of Indians in the name of Manifest

Destiny?

So by all means, let us give thanks.

Thanks, finally, that the truth is known~

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another Episode of "Facebook Drama!"

I've been dropped for offending people a few times, but no one ever dropped me because I made them look like a moron. Until now, that is.

What makes this more interesting is that this person is supposedly a published author who writes thrillers that take place in different periods in history. In other words, he should've known better! Below is the thread with picture included:















November 22, 1963. Remember when our President, regardless of party, could ride in an open car? · · · Share · 47 minutes ago

  • 5 people like this.
  • 1 share

    • Christopher Nadeau No, and technically neither could the one pictured above.
      46 minutes ago · · 3Loading...
    • CJ Edwards Bravo Mr. Nadeau!!
      43 minutes ago · · 1Loading...
    • David L Nelson Heck, they haven't even been able to safely go to the show since 100 years before that so I'm thinking um no?
      42 minutes ago ·
    • Main Poster: Thanks for the tasteless remark, Mr. Nadeau.
      39 minutes ago ·
    • Christopher Nadeau ‎"tasteless?" I object to that strongly. It's a historical fact. Sadly, no president since JFK has been able to sit atop a vehicle due to what happened to him. I don't remember a time when this wasn't the case, hence my comment, and using a pic of the man whose assassination made that so seemed like a bit of intentional irony to me. So no, it wasn't tasteless at all.
      37 minutes ago · · 1Loading...
    • Main Poster:‎"Object" all you want, CN. Why then did you remove the remark if you didn't think better of it? The point of the post was a remembrance of a national tragedy and your opening remark seemed to make light of it.
      34 minutes ago · · 2Loading...
    • Main Poster: Actually, your post is still there, but disappeared for a while.
      32 minutes ago ·
    • Christopher Nadeau I don't know what you're talking about. I never removed anything. However, I'd surprised you would see a comment like that as "making light." There's nothing light about the leader of the free world getting his brains blown out.
      32 minutes ago · · 1Loading...
    • Christopher Nadeau I don't remove posts. Mine of those of others.
      31 minutes ago ·
    • Christopher Nadeau ‎*or*
      31 minutes ago ·
    • Lee Sacco Perhaps it was (is?) a matter of courage? Teddy Roosevelt was shot yet continued with his speech. His book The River Of Doubt, is a testament to courage. I believe Kennedy also had that.
      26 minutes ago ·
    • Felicia Bowen Bridges I was kind of thinking it was ironic that you would say, 'Remember when they could...' and post a pic of Kennedy who died that way. In fact, was questioning the 'tastefulness' of that on the anniversary. Just sayin.
      22 minutes ago · · 2Loading...
    • Melissa Weaver I was just about to write the same thing! In fact, that's kinda where I thought Chris was going with his comment.
      21 minutes ago · · 1Loading...

    And then, just like that, I was no longer on his friend list...Thoughts?