Category: Newsletter

Surprisingly, The Parking Lot Is Safer Than The Park

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Okay, tried to write this earlier but it just sounded grumpy as fuck. Let’s try again…

Hey babes ^^

I’m shaking as I write this. An uncontrollable tremor that has taken over my body and makes it feel like I’m anxious, nervous, my heart racing. Why? Well I’m chilling at Barnes and Nobles and there is a chemical in here that for whatever reason makes it so every time I’m around it, I tremble.

This is my life now. I am under the influence of chemicals everywhere I go. It changes my mood in ways that, well, I’m noticing—awareness is very good—but I don’t fully get to have much say in the matter. I find myself irritated, sometimes beyond that, sometimes we’re talking full rage, over absolutely nothing. And if that’s not bad enough, I’m seeing patterns of paranoia and illogical thought processes during this time as well. So, yeah, I might be turning into a crazy person on top of this bullshit.

If you’ve never been on the psych side of things, let me just say how extremely easy it is to diverge from the ‘norm.’ Our brains are a chemical cocktail that influences our thoughts, moods, emotions, perceptions, senses, and at the end of it all, our actions. It is still a choice—every action is still a choice—but when you are reacting instead of making a conscious choice to act, it is usually in result to the chemical balance occurring in your brain instead of anything to do with reality.

People seem to think that the ‘crazies’ are so far gone that they can never be reached, like it’s this wall of sanity you can never climb without huge amounts of stress. Nope. Sorry to disappoint. One pill, one inhalation, one knock to the head, inflammation that presses on the wrong brain cells, and you can slip away. And sometimes you come back, or sometimes you’re gone a while only to return and the people around you still think you’re not there, that you’re not allowed to be normal anymore because you crossed that line. They want a line, a wall, so they can feel safe. It’s not there. We are all malleable from road rage to sudden traumatic events and then we go home, and we’re normal until another moment hits. Sanity is amazingly subjective.

I’m hoping that removing myself from the chemical trigger that set me off initially and detoxing the chemical from my body will reverse a lot of this shit—there is always hope—but I’m dealing with a lot of processing and coping with the now as I watch these new changes come on. And the now keeps changing depending on where I am, if my mask is on well enough and the filter fresh, if people around me are wearing perfume, or shampoo, or smoking. My life is consumed by seeking balance in an impossible to control world where the smallest of things from the shifting of a breeze can change me from stable to someone not quite me.

We may have (pretty fucking sure) found the source of the contaminate in the house. Talking to the landlord, it looks like the tenant before us was running some sort of chop shop out of the house. Cars coming in and disappearing in the middle of the night, parking them all over the yard, body work, selling nice cars super cheap, etc, etc. The guy was a charmer, I’m sure. Anyways, we found a leaking can of this weird industrial grade marine epoxy in the basement directly under my room. Thought ‘Ah ha! This is it!’ and then we found about 12 cans of shit hidden in a hole in the attic in the garage. @[email protected]

Paint thinners, more epoxy, asphalt emulation driveway sealer, motor oil, polyurethane, and plenty of shit with labels torn. The containers were all swollen from the high heat and the air was shimmering from the chemicals in the air. They’ve been there the entire 2 years we’ve been living here, and yeah, moved from a moldy apartment of 4 years into a chemical dump and I’m not 100% sure what the fuck to do. We took the stuff to hazardous waste to have it disposed of today, but things are looking grim. I’m still reacting to the house and yard.

I have spent all this time and thousands of dollars trying to do something to the house to make it work, only to now realize it may have been a complete waste. The guy was spraying cars with this stuff, likely on the yard, which is why I keep reacting when I go outside there. The place is probably broken beyond repair, and I’m at this crossroads of how do I move. Do I just move myself? Do I move my family who will have far fewer requirements for living arrangements or let them stay? I’m afraid they’re getting sick too, that this is why they’re still tired even though we moved out of the mold of the place before. But if I move them to fit my standards then this shit is going to be so much more difficult.

I don’t know if I can live in a house like normal people can. I’m reacting to everything. I’m getting more sensitive. I can’t handle smoke—any smoke now. Like, if steam is coming off my food because it was just heated up, I have a reaction. My options are getting more limited and I’m not sure if it’s a sign of things to come, or just a fluctuation as I start detoxing the chemicals that have built up in my body. My tears don’t feel like acid anymore, so, yay? Hope? I still feel like I’m spitting acid though at weird moments. Where should I be looking, seeing as all the shit I just did isn’t going to fix this situation? Do I just look for an old van, buy a solar generator, a shit ton of air filters, and park myself indefinitely in a Walmart parking lot until I can get my fucking life back?

It’s the long term verse short term solution choice. I want this to be short term. I want to waste my money because that means I fixed shit and I’m living in a house, and yeah, I can handle fucking up because I can work and make the money back. But if I go for the short term and fuck myself in the long run, things could be worse. People kill themselves over this illness. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity has a high suicide rate not just because of the symptoms of the illness but the absolute isolation and separation from family, home, and previous life involved in the condition. There are people running their entire lives looking for one safe fucking place to breathe and they never find it and they just give the fuck up because of the damn agony of living like this. Coping is key. My focus needs to be on objective assessment of the circumstances followed with the correct emotional and physical coping strategies to keep shit from getting too crazy.

I need to find a way to live my life right this fucking second, while also coping with what I’m going through, because this could be long term shit if I’m one of the unlucky ones. I need to keep a sense of grounding in my community, in the reality around me as every norm I know erodes away. I need to carry my serenity and my home with me everywhere I go, because I will not be able to find that out in this world full of everyday chemicals I can no longer tolerate. I need to be the calm against the storm instead of getting caught up in the whirlwind of despair.

And let me just say, it’s fucking hard. I don’t want to be calm; I want to rage, and cry, and freak the fuck out. I want to get caught up, and feel like a victim, and bitch my life away. I want to survive this very instant and fuck over the future because at least this moment was bearable. This really fucking sucks.

I have to be the other me, the calm, responsible me. I gotta hit my inner rhino up who has gotten me through every tough time I’ve been through and remind her that we don’t need to run blindly forward to get shit done; sometimes the strongest move is the one where we are still and sturdy. Sometimes we need to flow and bow when we see the insanity encroaching because hey, we can always flow right back to normal and happy moments later. Nothing is forever and we gotta flow.

There have been happy discoveries, by the way. I know this all sounds like a fucking downer, but I have found so much these last few weeks. My muscles are working again. I lifted a 50lb bag and thought it must be lighter because I could easily lift the damn thing. My skin is like real skin again. Even getting oily skin on my face when before I was dry as paper. The sores have all healed on my tongue, I’m producing actual body heat now, and hey, I’m tanning from all the sun I’m getting. I no longer need dopamine at all now that I’m out of the chemical trigger. I have a feeling the histamine response to the chemical had been so intense and so constant that my body had just stopped producing dopamine and was instead focused on histamines. Now that I’m away from the chemical, my body’s systems are turning back on and focusing on normal processes. (Aka, I don’t have Parkinson’s! Yes!!!) Also, I have a fucking mind in all this, and I know how to find answers. I have started treatment to improve my methylation on a cellular level, focusing on detoxification as well as protecting from and repairing the neurological damage that has come with this chemical exposure. I am not in a mental place of despair, but of being proactive.

But I won’t fucking lie to myself. People lose to this illness all the time and I refuse to be one of them. Stakes are too high to fuck around thinking it will solve itself. There is no perfect time, no perfect level of health where I can finally say ‘now I can focus on this.’ I gotta do this now. I gotta start living now and adapt to this new speed of living and make this work now.

So, with that in mind, I think I’ve decided on the writing front to focus on erotica for now. Short stories, mostly a taboo XXX focus, all with the intent of generating income. I can’t focus on novels—my mind and circumstances all refuse to reach that level of creative flow yet—and to be honest, I’m not sure if I can even really write a short story. I wish I were joking, but trying to get to the editing phase is like pulling teeth. It’s tedious beyond anything I’m used to. But I have to try; I have to go through the motions of living life instead of just being a reaction to every chemical that blows my way. I have to make now my life instead of waiting to live. This is my new job. 24-7. Coping strategies of how to live with MCS.

My biggest wall at the moment on the work front is the graphics situation. I really need to get to my PC so I can make cover art, but I can’t walk into my room without getting sick. I know the laptop I have for writing probably has the specs to be able to run Photoshop, but the screen is shit. It’s got a plastic glare, the contrast is turned up, and it over saturates everything. It’s just not usable for graphics. I can’t run the PC in my car—spinning disk hard drives in a moving vehicle is just asking for trouble. I’m actually thinking of those tablet things. The Cintiq or the Surface Pro (or whatever the hell the current versions are seeing as I haven’t looked at this shit in years.) It just feels like a toy, though. At least, when I was looking at it when I had a viable PC it sure felt like a fucking waste of money. But maybe a screen on the tablet would be the answer where the laptop would run the software but the visual graphics would still conform to a high standard screen. It’s a thought—one I can’t afford so probably won’t happen any time soon—but yeah, something to consider.

I guess it comes down to what is the long term damage of intentionally exposing myself to these triggering chemicals for the trade off of getting shit done? If the damage is low and easy to repair, then it’s worth the short term suffering to reach a goal. If it’s not—if I could be seriously harming myself just to make a fucking picture—then I gotta find another way.

I’ll leave you with a random discovery for the week; there are a lot of weirdos hanging out in parks. If you find yourself going to a wooded area to breathe and get away, and you think you’re living in a perfectly safe community, just be aware people looking for weird shit end up in parks. If you happen to have tits, it gets far more annoying as fuck, which is why I’m writing this at Barnes and Noble, chemicals and all, because people are far too polite here to pull that shit. This has been a damn frustrating week of annoying ass discoveries like this when all I want is to find a place to breathe and be a person. Oh, but a cool discovery! You can make your own blackout curtains for a car with $20 worth of fabric, malleable wire, wire cutters, and pliers super easy. And if you hook up a light and fan and hang out writing all night on your computer, it feels like you’re in your own little fort hidden from the world.

Werewolf Finding Love

This wolf runs alone.

Clayton is a werewolf with the blood of an alpha coursing through his veins. After his father’s death, it was his duty to take the position of pack leader.

Only, that never happened.

After getting caught up with the wrong man, he succeeded in getting his heart broken and his whole world turned upside down. Before he knew it, he was running alone – a lone wolf.

 

Moonlit Kisses

He had to find an apartment, somewhere near here where he could keep a close eye on the siblings. He had to find a job soon too, one that had absolutely no connections to his old life. He had bills to pay, food to get, maybe even some furniture. All the while, he’d try to convince himself over and over again that this was just a job, and nothing more. Despite all the passionate sex he and Daniel might have, it was meaningless in the end.

And yet, as he turned back, he fought a figure watching him. A handsome man, whose side eyes made him regret, for a moment, that he’d left.

Conner considered waving. He considered smiling, or at the very least, acknowledging the figure.

But then he closed his eyes. He turned back, and walked further down the street.

So, he searched far and wide for his mate…

Gaming and IRL Boss Fights

An internet famous geek. A sexy landlord who hates him. An unlikely duo with slim chances of beating the romance game.

Simon Cromfield’s life seems perfect from the outside. His gaming channels made him an internet celebrity, he has great friends, and he’s just moved into a luxurious apartment. Yet his gorgeous landlord did a one-eighty turn and decided he hates Simon, his family thinks he’s a total failure, and some of his fans act like they own him.

Branden Dahlman has enough on his plate. He doesn’t need that pest, Simon, who became the bane of Branden’s existence on top of a large estate he never wanted and a family that drives him insane. As he unleashes his resentment on Simon, the sexy bastard insists on proving Branden wrong about everything.

In an unlikely turn of events, when Simon hits his lowest, Branden is there to support him. But will this new-found thing between them last when the pressures of Simon’s world come crashing in?

Gaming and IRL Boss Fights is the third book in the contemporary gay romance series Famous on the Internet. If you like geeks, binge-watching online content, and enemies-to-lovers tropes, then you will love Alina Popescu’s online celebrity protagonists.

Buy your copy of Gaming and IRL Boss Fights today to join the game.

Summer Love: A Non-Shifter Omegaverse M/M Mpreg Romance

It started as a fleeting moment, but it turned into the summer of their lives.

In every alpha’s life there is an omega he’ll never forget, and a summer where it all started. For Riley, that began with a young man who was desperate for a change. As soon as Riley saw that omega’s royal blue eyes, pink lips, and smooth skin, he was head over heels.

Alpha Riley was starting over in the freshly built town of Belleview Bay. His criminal past was something he just wanted to leave behind completely. All he aspired to do was open his very own restaurant. To move on. Too bad he didn’t have a cent to his name.
Omega Holden never believed in love, but he sure did believe in fate. At his core, he was a dream chaser. His parents, however, owned a family business, and they weren’t so keen on letting him leave.

Destined for something greater, he placed his things into a bag and left home for good. Within weeks, he was sh*t out of luck. With nowhere to turn, he was ready to give up. That is, until he saw Riley.
They both yearned for the unattainable. Alone, success felt impossible. But together, they could have had it all: Love, adoration, and a darling baby to complete their family.

Summer Love is a full-length gay second chance romance novel. It is 52,000 words. This book contains hot and sexy scenes, emotional moments full of desire, and a beautiful baby to fill your hearts with love. This mpreg book is meant for 18+ readers.

Living Out Of A Toyota Yaris Hatchback

Hey, babes

Just a little check in

Late today. Wasn’t even sure if this was happening, but I seem to have figured out how to do a mobile hot-spot, so here goes. I’m currently living out of my car, and yeah, it’s better. A lot better. I tried sleeping in the yard, but I was still being hit with whatever has taken over my house. Then the neighbors decided to burn their pressurized wood leftovers from the crap they pulled out of their old edition, and that was it. I had to leave.

Kept thinking something like camping, but really, shit is expensive. Like, rent level expensive just to hang at a campsite. So yeah, you can sleep overnight in any Walmart parking lot and they don’t charge a fee *snort* and during the day I can go hang in much prettier areas, and ideally, once the swelling in my brain is down, I’ll be able to write again.

I had to stop lying to myself and be upfront. I’m allergic to my house, and staying there was making me allergic to fucking everything. EVERYTHING. Still can’t tell you the name of whatever the hell it is setting me off, but at least now we know it’s a chemical. Oh, right!

So I didn’t tell you. It’s been a busy week. I got an early appointment with my doctor! Oh, such a relief. She’s certain it’s either mold toxicity (cuz of my history) or a chemical exposure. We’re checking other things as well such as Mast Cell Activation. I just sent out for some home test kits to see if we can identify what chemical might be in the house or if it’s a VOC or something mold creates. All the symptoms though are straight out of a damn worker’s guide to health and safety for chemical exposure. I left the house for 24 hours, returned, and literally felt the air burning (through my mask) and stinging my tongue and throat. When I said it felt like the air was burning against my hand, hot to touch? Yeah, that’s sign of a chemical being there.

So this is after a week of running an air scrubber, of washing every damn surface down, of sealing my bedroom in a no VOCs plastic seal to keep anything from gassing out of the walls or floor. Nothing had touched this thing; it was still hovering in the damn air like a fucking phantom. Called a poison control # to see if they had any tips of what to do, how to remove it, who to call—nothing. We could call a home inspector, I guess, but yeah, no one really cares if you have something poisoning you in your house. You’re on your own.

It was my wake up call. I realized that was it. Whatever this is, I don’t have the ability to remove it, or the ability to disperse it at this time, and I’m not about to live with the shit. So I took the only option and left. Still a few things to grab from the house—making a list atm—and then I’m just not going back until I know it’s safe. I need a chance to heal and every exposure to that shit keeps me from getting better.

My head is better when I’m out of the house. Not just the pain and insanity of that, but my thought processes and mood. This move felt like an impossibility yesterday. We went to visit my bf’s parents and see if I might fair better at their place. It was an interesting discovery not only of all the chemicals the average suburban home douses in every day for no damn good reason outside of they saw a commercial and really needed the grass to be the same shade of green, but also a very emotionally trying time. Although I can be compassionate and considerate toward their cancer and lung problems, I in return am laughed at for wearing a mask to breathe and not seeing a ‘real’ doctor—my doctor has practiced alopathy (mainstream medicine) as well as alternative solutions with a focus on chronic conditions the main medical field ignores because they’re just too hard to solve, but, you know, that’s not real because they’re not in the ‘system’ these people all live in.

I do not miss living in that old system. I forgot how pervasive those messages were. I can walk into a supermarket in a mask where I’m currently living and people might look, but they get it, they see someone with a condition. They know people are different and they aren’t wasting every moment of their day trying to look, dress, sound, act and just front the way they think people want them to be. When I walked into a store in the town where I used to live, people think I’m being an asshole, or looking for attention, or a psycho creep who’s going to go on a murdering spree. These people have their televisions turned on 24-7 and they don’t know the real world anymore and they are fucking miserable to be around. They are trying so fucking hard to be someone or thing, and they are dismissive and judgmental to anyone who isn’t playing the same boring ass game.

Illness is isolating enough. I have had absolute strangers far more accepting of what I’m going through than his family, because hey, strangers don’t feel the need to judge me every fucking time they see me. You know how some people just exist, and live, and it’s okay? Yeah, not with these people. You have to have an opinion about people instead, you have to decide they’re right or wrong or doing wrong or wasting their lives, etc. You can’t just ‘be’ with these people, and it’s exhausting. But whatever. It was toxic on a different level and more shit to avoid right now.

The doc thinks if I can flush whatever has built up in my system out, the multiple chemical sensitivity will heal itself and I won’t need to be in a mask as much. At first I didn’t truly believe it, but just being out of the house, I can see that scents aren’t hurting me as much as before. I can sweat again, my tears sting like acid, but I know it must be the chemical clearing my body. I just need to wait on some of the meds that help this shit along, and go from there and try to detox the chemicals out. I keep shaking though, which is new the last few days and really uncomfortable. My whole body keeps shaking, these tremors like I’m frozen but it’s not temperature related. I read somewhere it could just be a sign of chemical overexposure. It’s unsettling but hasn’t killed me yet. At least the twitching has pretty much stopped; like a spasm in random parts of my body. Very fun.

I’m doing a lot of figuring out how to live like this at the moment. Boring, mundane stuff you don’t think of, like where are clean bathrooms open 24-7, and getting a little propane stove really isn’t going to do shit if I don’t actually buy a damn pan to put on it. XD But I’m feeling pretty chill. I can’t imagine what this would have been like for me when I still had the PTSD—lol, actually I kinda can. I’ve been homeless before and far less empowered during that time, and the anxiety is far more a drain on the body than reality any day. This is fine. I have a nice car, there are plenty of scenic views around where I live combined with city and suburbs and plenty of wifi points and coffee shops with charging stations. And I’m not in pain or being poisoned—what more can you really ask for? It’s all good. What really is the measure of your life, the stuff you carry around with you or the shit you do? As long as I can create the things I love to create, it’s all good.

Art might actually be out for now though cuz I don’t think I’ll be running my PC out of my car any time soon. I might be able to do art on the laptop, I’m just not sure if it could run something like photoshop… Hmm. Food for thought for the future. I will need to have book covers eventually…

Hey, I managed to read a book finally cuz of all this. Ready Player One. Slow start but damn, it was a fun ride. <3 Hope you’re all having a fine summer so far. Gah, and stay out of the sun. It was a burning ball of fire today. Like, legit. XD

Peace, babes.