Archive for the ‘Personal Life’ Category

This post isn’t really entertainment, nor is it informative. I’m just here to vent some steam.

So Shardae orders something on BestBuy.com. I’m not a fan of online ordering, because I prefer to take my purchases home right away instead of waiting to have it delivered. Shardae, on the other hand, prefers not to have to deal with people. Anyway, she makes her purchase and it states that it’ll take twenty-one days for the items to be delivered. That’s a very long time, we both think, but we reluctantly accept. What else can you do? Well, yesterday was supposed to be the day of delivery. Two days prior, she received an email stating that she would get a call from a delivery person to arrange a time to have the items delivered. She never received that call so yesterday I’m wait from morning to noon, but no truck appears. Shardae calls to inform me that she received a phone call from some guy. He says that the item won’t arrive until some time between 5:30 and 7:30 because of some trouble they’re having with a delivery truck. I’m disappointed, but I understand things happen. 5:30 arrives and I’m back on the lookout for the truck. Shardae comes home around 6 o’clock and we’re both looking for the truck. By 8:00 we’re like, “What the hell?” About 8:30, a truck appears, but its way down the street and there’s no BestBuy logo on the truck. Is that them, I wonder. When the trucks drives away from our apartment complex I think nothing else of it. We don’t have a monopoly on receiving packages over here at The Abbey. So Shardae and I wait and wait and wait then we go to bed around 10 — without delivery or a courtesy phone call.

This morning I feel a bit better, because of course we have priority since our package (which is paid for) was not delivered when promised. I wait until 12:30 before I call customer service who has no idea what’s going on. The guy who called yesterday calls Shardae at 1 o’clock to say he showed up at the wrong apartment and left. Is that really how business works? Really?! Shardae tells him that we saw a large truck (down the street, mind you), but it didn’t have a BestBuy logo on it. “Yep, that was us,” he says. Really?! Well, he offers to delivery it this weekend. Shardae asks if there’s anyway he can deliver it today seeing as its paid for (both the product and the delivery cost). He gives her a bunch of bull about the truck being used in deliveries outside the area, but if she really wants it delivered today he can do it at 9 o’clock, P.M.. Shardae says that fine. When she tells me about the conversation she had with the delivery guy, I’m seething with rage and wishing I had the opportunity to speak with him. I probably wouldn’t have gotten it delivered no earlier, but that wasn’t my purpose in wanting to talk to him. I simply wanted to give him a piece of my mind. Since I couldn’t tell him how I felt, I left a review on BestBuy’s site — almost the length of this flash story. I didn’t say what I wanted to say because I didn’t want to include cuss words and give them a reason to exclude my post. And just in case they decide to scrap it anyhow, I came to my blog to vent.

Alright, so after all that happens I’m fuming and surfing the net and I notice that Shardae has three new emails. Two of them are from BestBuy, letting us know that the delivery was rescheduled for next Tuesday. The hell you say!  I told Shardae, “If the delivery doesn’t come tonight, we’ll go over there to the BestBuy in Hoover to get our refund,” since the product is paid for and just sitting there.

You show up late… at the wrong apartment (and if it wasn’t so far down the street, I would have approached the truck and asked if they had the right place)… then you drive away without so much as a phone call to say, “We’re here in a nondescript truck, but we have the wrong place. Can you direct us?” Sticks and Stuff called to ask for directions when they delivered. I watched one guy who worked for Pizza Hut run (actually run!) up and down the sidewalk from apartment to apartment until he found the right one, and you better believe he got a good tip. But BestBuy knocks on the wrong door then drives away and never calls to explain what happened. I have to call customer service, who calls the store (because we had no idea what store the shipment would be coming from since we ordered it online), before the guy calls to say we showed up, we (meaning them) weren’t there, and so we left because we did all we knew to do. Get the fudge out of here!

 

–The Ravings of an Extremely Madman

(Post transferred from my website: www.bnewsome.yolasite.com. Clearing up space for another post. :-))

Every writer has two reasons for why they write. The first is for fame and success. Many will tell you that they don’t write for the first reason that I mentioned, but I assure you, no one dives into a profession with intentions of being mediocre and overlooked. The second reason a writer writes happens to be the force that drives them when fame and success appears to be out of reach. The second reason is different for each person, but without that second reason, the first can not be obtained. If I only wrote for fame and success, I would have stopped being a writer two months after making the written word my profession. I have never been denied anything I sought to obtain, but I quickly realized that being a successful writer was not going to come easy. As a matter of fact, I have come to accept the fact that my first reason for writing may not happen at all. Nevertheless, I keep writing.

So, what is that second reason that drives me? The answer is simple. The answer is my child, and/or future children.

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was ten-years-old. However, my plan was to pick a well paying profession, then start writing when I retired from the job market. I was very levelheaded for a child — more so than I am now, it seems. I eventually became an adult and it didn’t take me long to realize that the world did not orbit around my plans. Obstacle after obstacle was thrown my way. Disappointments came. One day I was a child with ignorant optimism, and the next thing I know, I’m in my twenties. I’m still optimistic about my future, but I now know that life is no fairytale.

(Desert Breeze Publishing brings you Life is no Fairytale by Bennie L. Newsome this September).

After coming to that realization, I began to wonder what else might not go as I planned. Who could say I would even live to see an old age and retire? That was something to think about. If that part of my plans was derailed (like everything else had been), then I would never get to live my dreams. I would never become a writer.

My mind began to travel along thoughts of an early demise. That thought branched off into the area of kids. What if I had kids and died prematurely? No one likes to think about death (no one with their sanity intact), but who can say when the skeleton cloaked in black will come for them. So I asked myself: If I had children, then died before I could teach them the things I had in mind, how would their life be affected?

Well, that did it. I decided not to wait for an old age that was not promised. I became a writer while I was still able. My chosen audience became young adults, middle grade, and children for one simple reason. If I was to have children and tragedy struck for one reason or another, I wanted to leave them something that could benefit them in my absence. They could learn from the tales I left behind.

I wrote my first young adult novel more than a year before my first born came into this world. The main character was named after him. Since then, I have written more young adult novels, middle grade novellas, and children stories. I would love to become a famous and successful writer, but the reason I must be published is for Benjamin and the little girls that I hope are to follow. My most important audience is my child(ren). If I was to die tomorrow, my five-month-old child would at least be left with the beginnings of his own library — a book collection that I wrote myself. Through my writings, Benjamin would be able to see that his father was funny, a bit insane, and that I loved him very much.

Then there is the possibility that I will live to see a ripe old age. If that happens, and I pray that it does, then I hope that my efforts would have blazed a path for my children to tread. By my example, my children will know that they don’t have to settle for the first menial job that comes their way. I want my children to do what they love. I want my children to follow their dreams. And in order for that to happen, I must first break the mold.

I started this by telling you the first reason I write. Now you know the second. Now you understand the force that drives me.

A blogger friend of mine, MsKatykins, asked how my son Benjamin was doing. Because no one wants to receive a response that’s the length of an essay, a respectful answer would be, “He’s fine. Just as active as ever. Thanks for asking!” That’s the proper way to answer such a question; however, I decided to blog my response because I’m not typical. I’m a writer who just so happens to have a kid, and that kid provides me with a lot of writing material. The child is a gold mine, or at least, he was a gold mine when he was younger. 

For those of you who have not been keeping count, Benjamin is six months now (he’ll be seven in a week). And during these last couple of months, the relationship my son and I have has matured. You’re probably saying to yourself that that’s good news, and I agree with you, but it doesn’t really leave me with a lot to rave about nowadays. You remember the ravings, don’t you? Well, most of you do. And for those of you who are new to The Ravings of a Madman, let me catch you up real quick. A few months ago, when Benjamin and I were getting to know each other, we were known to have our share of spats. After our falling outs, I would come here and blog about the arguments I (a grown man) had with an infant. 

And don’t get your dandruff up, no need to call child services. Our fights never ended in fisticuffs. We just got loud with one another. 

So, three months ago, Shardae went back to work leaving me and Benjamin to ourselves. It was rough going at first, and I will admit that I was terrified. I mean, who could I hand the baby off to when a problem arose — such as him crying for no particular reason. Well, I was forced to learn my baby and now there’s not a problem I can’t handle. As a matter of fact, I’m better with him than his mother (which I throw in her face on a regular basis), but that doesn’t stop him from favoring her more. For instance, he said his first word a couple of weeks ago, and it turned out to be “Momma.” Not “Dada”, who he looks to when he’s hungry, or needs a diaper change. His first word was “Momma.” That’s fine, though. I was just happy to hear him speak. Now, back to the point I was trying to make. Benjamin and I are in sync, so we don’t fight as much, which results in me blogging about him less (more like none). I mean, who wants to read me gushing about, “My baby just said his first word, y’all!” and, “My baby is rolling over!” or “My baby is eating solid foods now!” Yeah, it’s exciting for me and his mother, but you could care less, I’m sure. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. Although Benjamin and I are on better terms now, we still have our share of arguments. Just the other day, I had fallen asleep on the living room floor (and I can’t recall why I was on the floor in the first place). I couldn’t sleep peacefully because it was uncomfortable, so I decided to retire to my room and nap in the bed. Well, Benjamin and Shardae was in the bedroom. Benjamin was playing on the bed, and Shardae was doing whatever she does on the computer. I flopped down on Shardae’s side of the bed — because Benjamin was on my side — and I tried to go to sleep. Notice the emphasis on “tried.” As soon as I closed my eyes, Benjamin started screaming, probably fussing at me to get out of the bed. When I refused to leave, he started hitting me and kicking me, while keeping up his hollering. 

“Hey, boy!” I said. “You have your own room, and your own bed. If you have a problem with sharing my bed with me, then you know where you can go.” 

And with that said, I dozed off — intermittently, of course. The boy kept kicking, clawing, and screaming. His mother eventually carried him into his room, and the dispute ended with Benjamin and I napping for quite some time — separately. So, Benjamin and I still have disagreements on a daily basis, but nothing blog worthy. 

MsKatykins, you probably didn’t want a response that’s the length of an essay, so to make a long blog post short, “Benjamin’s fine. Just as active as ever. Thanks for asking!” 😉

I turn 26-years-old tomorrow. Yep. July 16th is my birthday and has been every since I was born…26 years ago. Well, May December Publications and I thought it was a good idea to do a free ebook giveaway in celebration of me turning 26. So let me sum things up for you. This ebook giveaway is my birthday celebration and your party favor is…well, your party favor is the free ebook. Won’t you celebrate with me? Bottom lip poked out, eyes wide, “Won’t you pretty please celebrate with me?” Go to the following link and get your party favor: http://www.amazon.com/The-BoogeyMann-ebook/dp/B007SC793O/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1342285364&sr=1-1 If you don’t want to read the book, just go on over, click the like button, and download it anyway. Don’t have an ereader? Amazon gives you a free Kindle app for your computer. I mean,  can we make this giveaway any easier? Well, that’s enough of that. Let this shameless plug lead me into today’s blog: A Spirit of Fear.

The Holy Bible states that God did not give us a spirit of fear. WAIT! Don’t you go running off! I’m not about to preach to you. I’m just making a biblical reference. Better now? Go on, catch your breath. Alright, let’s resume.

So the Bible states that God did not give us a spirit of fear. But I observe my five-month-old son and wonder where does fear come from if God did not implant us with it. How does Benjamin know what to be afraid of when he hasn’t learned what to fear?

Truth time. I roared at my son. It was a couple of months ago, and it wasn’t a malicious roar. You know the kind where you place your hands above your head, make finger claws, put on a crazy looking face, and, “WRRRRAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGH!” What do you expect? I’m the author of The BoogeyMann. Anyway, Benjamin became visibly startled, then his face scrunched up, and he began to cry. Of course his mother scolded me for that, and I’m like, “What?! How was I suppose to know he knew to be afraid?” I mean, really! How does a three-month-old baby know that this is frightening?

That wasn’t the only time I noticed that we, as humans, are born with a sense of fear. My child and I were walking through the hallway of our apartment. It was dark. I held the bouncer he sat in so his face was turned toward me. Just to make conversation, I said, “Hey, buddy. What’s going on?” Well, once again, he became startled, then his face scrunched up and he began to cry. “What’s the matter?” I asked as I hurried to get him into the light of the kitchen so he could see my face. “It’s just me. It’s Daddy. Not a monster.” It took a few seconds, but he eventually calmed down. There were a couple more instances of me roaring (because I like to roar at little babies, apparently). One time I was sitting right in front of him. He was staring at me. Eventually I tired of the awkward silence and said, “Hey.” The child visibly flinched, then cried. I’m like, “What the hell?”

“He didn’t expect you to say anything,” his mother said.

Whatever.

Because of these instances, I believe that we were born with a certain amount of fear. How would a baby know to fear the dark and monsters when he has not even seen Friday 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street? He doesn’t know what a monster is. Benjamin does not know what could possibly lurk in the darkness, and yet he already knows to fear these things. It’s crazy.

My initial theory was that we were given the spirit of fear. However, that time when Benjamin was staring at me and he became startled when I spoke brought another possibility to mind. In the animal kingdom (which we humans are a part of), mammals get their instincts from nursing on their mother. They learn their enemies from information passed on through the milk. They learn what to fear. When I saw my baby become startled, even though he had been staring at me the whole time, I realized that he could have gotten that scary side from his mother. She is (and don’t tell her I told you this) as scary as they come. I have gotten to the point where I have to say, “I’m about to touch you now.” I warn her that I’m going to touch her, I touch her, then she flinches. “I just told you I was going to touch you!” I say. Then she says something about her nerves being bad, or my hand was cold. Whatever. When I go through the apartment, I sometimes call out, “I’m coming to such-and-such,” or “I’m walking behind you. Don’t be alarmed.” There have been times when I would say, “I’m coming up behind you,” then I approach her from the side and she still becomes startled. She is just easily frightened. She won’t even let me have scary movies in the house, and I love scary movies. Probably why she doesn’t even read my writings which are suitable for children. Adventure Time on Cartoon Network freaks her out. Then again, Courage the Cowardly Dog gives me the willies sometimes.

Back to the point I was trying to make. Baby mammals get their instincts and fears from nursing. Benjamin breastfed for a time. If he got his fears from his mother, then that would be everything under the sun. Man! I sure hope it’s not inherited fear. A spirit of fear can be tamed. Inherited fear is for life. And I like to jump out of shadows, and from around corners, and roar. What am I ever to do with a scary child?

My latest blog can be found over at my website: www.bnewsome.yolasite.com. Stop on by. My website could really use the traffic.

This is where the magic happens, where my imagination comes to life. This is my office. I use to do my work while sitting on the floor. I would prop my back on the side of my bed, my computer monitor sat on the bedside table, and the keyboard sat in my lap. Now I have a desk, and as you can see, Shardae allowed me to have a section of the bedroom wall. Yeah, I’m doing it big now.

Do you see that computer sitting on my desktop? That’s my most prized possession. If there was a fire in my home, the computer would be the first thing I ran to save, you know, after I secured my lady and child. I remember being a kid and having my folks ask me what I wanted for Christmas. “I want a computer,” would always be my response. Then my folks would comeback with, “What else do you want?” I didn’t want anything else. Owning a computer was my greatest desire. I guess I always knew I wanted to be a writer… that and I really wanted to be able to play Solitaire whenever the mood struck me. After being denied a computer for three consecutive years, my reply to what I wanted for Christmas became, “It doesn’t matter.” Why ask me what I want if I was never going to get it? I’m 25-years-old now and my response to, what do you want for Christmas, is still, “It doesn’t matter.”

Well, when I became an adult and started making my own money, one of the first major purchases I made was to buy a computer. I didn’t start writing right away. I did a bit of poetry, but I mainly listened to music, watched DVD’s, and of course, played Solitaire. One day I pawned my computer in order to pay my car note, but I made sure I got it back, and once I had it I promised never to pawn it again. I had a feeling that my computer was going to be extremely valuable in forging my future, so I couldn’t risk losing it. I never pawned my computer again no matter how tight money got.

I wrote my first book on that computer. I was pretty proud of myself, but I didn’t receive any encouragement from those around me. I tried to get the story published, was discouraged at the result, and I postponed my dream.

Sometime later, I remember accidentally dropping my monitor and breaking it so I couldn’t use my computer. I was unhappy about that. Shardae and I had just started dating then and she got me this old-fashion, bulky monitor from her sister. Shardae has always reluctantly supported me. And by reluctantly I mean, she voiced her disagreement about my decision to be a writer, and she has never read a word I wrote, but she does stuff like find me a monitor to replace my broken one, or rid my computer of viruses when it got sick that one time. It was Shardae who inspired me to work on my second book, Agape. I finished it back in 2009, but I never got it published. It’s now due for publication this September.

I eventually got a better looking, slimmer monitor and around that time I began to write seriously. The next book I would write was called, The BoogeyMann. I wrote dozens of short stories on that computer, and four novels. When everyone else was trying to discourage me from being a writer, my computer would encourage me with a swiveling screensaver that said, Bennie L. Newsome. The computer was my personal cheerleader, voicelessly yelling my name.

My computer and I have come a long way. We have achieved quite a bit and the two of us are still working to obtain greater heights. If there was a fire in my home, the first thing I would rush to save is my computer, you know, after I secured my lady and child. I do plan on replacing my computer one day, with a more updated model. The machine is not what I’m attached to. It’s the dream that a little child had years ago. The dream to be a renown writer like his favorite author, R.L.Stine. So yeah, I’ll replace my computer with a faster, sleeker model, and create another swiveling screensaver that will read, Bennie L. Newsome. And that new computer will continue to cheer me own as I trudge onward to greatness.

Includes my first accepted short story, “Summer Assignment.”

June has finally arrived which means that approximately a year has passed since my first publication. I don’t remember it like it was yesterday (I can barely remember yesterday), but I do remember opening an email from Denise Brown of May December Publications. I was braced for another rejection. Instead, I was met by the words, “your short story has been accepted into our anthology, Chivalry is Dead.” Of course those weren’t the words exactly, but you get the gist. I got my first acceptance in March of 2011 and I was a published author that following June. I may not remember that day well, but I do recall being very excited. I rejoiced silently to myself because my girlfriend was in the next room and I wanted to wait for the right moment to tell her the good news. Although, when you see a grown man prancing happily around the house, its not hard to figure out what’s going on. So I told my girlfriend, I told my mom, and I told my brother, Darryl. My brother was the only one who seemed genuinely happy for me. My mother and girlfriend lost interest when I told them that there was no monetary compensation. And they wonder why my first book wasn’t dedicated to them.

 Anyway. Since my first publication, I have had a butt load of short stories published in numerous anthologies. Some are very good stories, then there were those that didn’t translate well from my imagination to the computer. I had a short story nominated for a Pushcart Award. It didn’t win, but I was extremely honored that the editor thought it was good enough to submit. I also had a very good short story accepted into an anthology that will feature a renown bestselling author. That anthology, Songs of the Satyr, should be coming out soon. My latest and greatest acceptance was a poem that’s scheduled to appear in a Hallmark book entitled, Thanks Mom. Then there are those that I was embarrassed to see in print. Needless to say, I won’t elaborate on those. But all the success I did have started with a short story called, Summer Assignment. It read like a middle grade story while being filled with adult innuendos. The story was all humor and no horror, but it appeared in an anthology that has a wicked cover and some gruesome tales. I’m a comedic writer who likes to write tales for the young and old alike. Not everyone likes the stories I have to tell, or the way I tell them, but those people are usually the mentally depraved. They’re not happy unless you’re hacking someone’s head off, or spilling their guts. I can do that, I have done that, but I’m more at home with tales like: Summer AssignmentFrightening ClichésThe BoogeyMann. I rather have fun and make people laugh than scare the crap out of them.

And with that being said, I would like to thank Denise and Todd Brown at May December Publications for accepting a childish and silly person such as myself. They specialize in speculative horror, and yet they gave me my first short story acceptance — which was anything but horror. They also published my first young adult novel. They’re not the most perfect independent press, and the edits have not always been to my liking — I’m sure my lack of formatting didn’t help matters — but my work was published in a timely manner and the contributor copies always made their way to my doorstep. As a writer, I have grown and so have my aspirations. I don’t submit work to the smaller presses like I use to (mainly because I don’t have time to write like I use to), but I will never forget that I started out with a press called May December Publications. Terrible name for a horror press, I know, but would a zombie by any other name be less likely to crack open your skull and eat its innards? Nope. The results would pretty much be the same.

 

–The Ravings of a Madman