I get a kick out of browsing the Wish ads on Facebook and felt like sharing some of the weirder ones that I came across today. -C.H.
I'd just like to announce that I've decided to split off 'Of The Dim' from this site here and post it on it's own separate website. I really want to focus most of my writing time and energy towards that story and felt like it could benefit having it's own place to keep everything front and center.
I'll still post all my other writings here, and will try not to let it go too long in between.
Thanks to those who visit when they can and who have supported me along the way!
The new website can be found at www.ofthedim.com
I finished putting together my poetry chapbook in between a lot going on in my personal life, and thought I'd share for those that might be interested! It's called A Witless Love and is just the first of what I'm hoping will be a number of poetry collections going forward.
I've decided to start posting my first novel "It All Fades" in separate pages here on the site. I published the book in 2013, and think it's been more than enough time to allow people a chance to read it who may not have ever purchased it before.
I'm going to try and post new "pages" of the story as often as I can, without spamming it. And I might also record audio versions of it to go along with the posts.
Hopefully you enjoy. I've never been 100% happy with it, but it was my "first" and therefore it's always going to hold a special place to me.
You can find the story HERE.
CLICK HERE FOR FIRST WORST DATE STORY
A couple of years back, I wrote a story on here detailing what I consider to be the worst date I’ve had in my entire life; it was a story of shock and horror that involved a girl with a mustache and strange phony accent. Just about everything that could go wrong when meeting someone from a dating site went wrong that day and it put me off to those kinds of meetups for years afterwards. I decided that I would just focus on schoolwork from that point on and not worry so much about meeting a girl to get into a relationship with. I dated a couple of girls afterwards, but nothing was ever that serious and I was okay with that.
After school, I was ready to once again leave Indiana and start a new chapter in my life. I had nothing tying me down to any one place and began looking all over the country for job opportunities. There was no place in particular that I wanted to move to and had applied to jobs that sounded like they would be fun (or at least interesting enough to make it worth the move). One of the first places that I got a call back from was SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas. I had never worked at a theme park, but thought that it might be a pretty easy yet fun job. So I flew down for a couple of days to interview and was offered the position before I had returned home. I accepted, packed up everything I owned into my car, and started the long 20 hour drive down. The trip to interview was the first time I had ever been to Texas and moving there would be the second. I stayed in a hotel for a few days before finding a room in a house that a woman owned. The plus was that it was only about a five minute drive from SeaWorld and in one of the few decent areas in that part of San Antonio.
Starting over in a thoroughly new place wasn’t unfamiliar for me, as I had done it multiple times in the Army and after getting out. The job I started with wasn’t very difficult to learn and I never have a problem getting to know new people when it came to work environments. I was making friends with my new colleagues and things were going well. The one negative aspect, or what I thought of as one, was that I hadn’t really met any girls that I was interested in. As I had mentioned in my previous dating story, after that awful date I had, I basically just kept things casual with girls. By the time I moved to San Antonio, I had been single for about two years and wanted to find something more serious. The downside was that I wanted to avoid anyone from work (that is never a good idea) and that didn’t leave me with many other options since I didn’t have any friends outside of SeaWorld.
So it was back to the dating websites! This was around 2012, but even then the whole “there’s an app for that” thing wasn’t really…a thing yet. I signed up for the same site that I had originally been on, because frankly the other choices seemed like either strictly hookup sites or full of fake profiles. I made a promise to myself that I would just be laid back about it this time though and give people a chance, regardless, if they seemed interesting; because even if we didn’t make a good romantic match, it would have still been great to make a new friend or two.
I had a few decent matches after being on the site for a couple of weeks, but I did not have a lot of time to dedicate towards actually meeting in person. The summer season hadn’t yet kicked off at SeaWorld, but they were building a new children’s area and needed us to be there most of the day to oversee people coming and going. It was a pretty tedious job the first month or so, but I was told that it got a lot better when the park opened up for the year (which was very true, as it was a great experience). I was at least able to use my phone a lot while I was out there and that’s when I first spoke with the woman who would end up being my second worst date ever.
When it comes to my personal attraction to women, I would say that I don’t have a specific “type” at all like most. I’ve been attracted to and dated a number of different types of girls over the years and very rarely would I turn someone down for their “style” or something along those lines. But at first sight, this girl wasn’t exactly the kind that I would ordinarily notice first just based on physical features and clothing choices. She was an active duty Navy girl and half of her photos were taken of her either riding a motorcycle or in uniform. She seemed to dress and look like most people you see in the military, which wasn’t a bad thing, just not my first choice. Still, our conversation was very easy and we both had a lot in common beyond just the military aspect. In fact, I downplayed my own service while speaking with her just because I wanted to seem as though I was more interested in her own, which frankly I was.
We spoke for a number of days during the week until finally agreeing that it would be fun for us to meet up that weekend when I had the next day off. It was going to just be an easy kind of first date of dinner and drinks after if we hit it off. San Antonio is famous for its River Walk in the downtown area, which is full of restaurants, bars, and shops. I hadn’t been there yet since the move and thought that it would be a good place for us to meet up, since it’d be a new experience for us both. The whole area has that Spanish vibe to it that you think of when you think of San Antonio. And it turns out, that would be part of the problem and why the date was one of my worst.
First off, the parking in that area isn’t the greatest if you’ve never been there and don’t know the good places. So I spent twenty minutes just trying to find somewhere that seemed safe and didn’t cost too much to park my car. It made it nearly impossible for me to have that much needed alone time before the date to get a bearing on my surroundings and to calm whatever nerves were there when meeting a new person for the first time. She called me before I could find a place and directed me to come to the parking garage that she was in. I was ready for that always awkward “pull up and wave” moment but it still wasn’t ideal.
The first thing I notice about her as I’m pulling up and see her is that she’s driving a gigantic black truck with her motorcycle in the back of it. She basically drove what the majority of the annoyingly macho Infantry guys I served with drove down to the tacky firearms and flag stickers on the rear window. As I have mentioned, I personally don’t care what a person wants to do or how they present themselves to others as long as we get along. I’ve had friends from all kinds of different backgrounds (another benefit of the service) and knew that I shouldn’t take it as too bad of a sign. But it was just the first thing that came to mind as a negative of the evening. Her appearance was at least the same as in her photos, unlike the girl from the previous tale, so she had that going for her right away.
I parked and got out of my car, and we exchanged our first greetings in person. I could tell immediately, as you can, that she wasn’t attracted to me. There’s just that vibe that you get from a person and is the risk that you run when you’re trying to date and meet people from the internet. It didn’t bother me at all, because I’ve had that same experience from her side of it. But I needed friends and thought that there was still the possibility that she and I could become “bros” and so we made our way down towards the River Walk. It was her first time downtown, as well, since she had only been at Fort Sam Houston for training for a week or so before we met.
Our conversation was just as easy in person as it had been via messaging, but what I noticed rather quickly about her was that she was incredibly loud. I’m sure everyone knows that kind of person; who doesn’t seem to realize they’re the loudest person around. We sat down at this Mexican restaurant for dinner and she ordered shots of tequila right away. When I say shots, I don’t mean one for each of us, but instead it was two for her. After pounding the two shots, she went to work on the pitcher of beer that we were sharing. I’ve been around people who drink because they are nervous and people who just drink too much no matter where they go out and she was very much the latter. I’ve had periods in my life where I also enjoyed drinking a lot, but this was not during one of those periods and being around someone who was drinking that much was just another downer of the night.
She spent most of the first part of the date talking about the Navy. She had volunteered to become an E.O.D (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Technician and was just going through the process of attending the school. Anyone who volunteers to play with bombs had to be a little bit crazy, as I’ve seen what kind of damage they can do first hand. But I didn’t say that to her, and just did the usual thing of asking a lot of questions about it and the rest of her time in the Navy. I had been out of the Army for four years and forgot just how annoying it can be sometimes to only talk about the military. But that was all that she seemed to want to bring up and it’s all we spoke about. It wasn’t all that engaging for me, but I was playing nice and she was getting more inebriated.
But the worst thing that happened was after the alcohol started to really hit her. She was already being incredibly loud, but was now becoming belligerent. The most disgusting part of it was that she began to make offhand racist remarks about everyone from black people to Mexicans. It was this exact comment that made me realize that not only was romance out of the question, but any type of friendship would be too:
“I can’t stand Mexicans who won’t speak English when we’re in fucking America.”
Mind you, this is in the middle of a Mexican restaurant on the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas. All I could do was cringe and hope that anyone listening could tell that I wasn’t agreeing with her or shared the same opinions. Oh, and it was also around this time that she pulled out a package of cigarettes and began to light up at the table. We were outside, but were still around other people who were trying to eat. I’ve never smoked, and never saw the appeal. In fact, it’s a major turnoff for me. But by that point just being around her was a turnoff. I think even through her now drunken haze, she could tell that I was ready to call it a night and offered to just skip the second half of the now disastrous date. I agreed, of course, and we made our way back towards the parking garage. That’s another unfortunate aspect of parking near the person you’re meeting for the first time; you have no good way to escape.
Along the stroll back to our vehicles, I asked her if she was going to be okay to drive. She wasn’t stumbling down drunk, but I could tell that she had too much to drink to drive. But she was convinced that she was fine and that she’d make it back to the base without any troubles. I probably should have done more to stop her, but I was just glad to be getting away from her. We didn’t even share a pity hug and just said goodbye as we were both getting into our rides. I stayed in my spot just to see her leave first and watched as she barreled out of the parking garage front gate at an entirely too fast rate of speed. She clipped the arm that was on the gate with her bike in the bed of the truck, but didn’t seem to notice and just sped off into the night.
I don’t remember now whether or not we even spoke again via text or that dating site, but it did not really matter. She was an abrasive, rude, and racist mess that I had zero interest in getting to know any further than one wasted night. I didn’t delete my profile like I did the last time, but I also didn’t rush into anything too serious for a while after. I went on a couple of dates, some from the site and others from people I knew from work. And I also ended up getting into a long-term thing with a girl I met on there, so it ended up not being that horrible of an overall experience. I still wouldn’t recommend it if you had other, more natural ways of meeting potential love interests.
Just an update on things,
I'm nearing the finish of what will be Book 1 of 4 in the Paranormal Series. I'm still unsure as to whether or not I'm going to be attempting to get it published or self-publish. I have decided that each of the 4 books will contain similar stories. So, for example, Book 1 will be all "ghost" stories while Book 2 will be all "monster" stories, etc.
Each book will have 50 complete short stories, and I figured that releasing them one at a time would be a lot better than waiting until all 200 stories are finished, since that would end up being a pretty large book on its own. This way people can decide if they want the entire set, or just the ones relating to the subjects that they enjoy more.
I'm working on knocking out the final few stories and will be figuring out what I'm going to do with them soon. So keep an eye out, and thanks for taking the time to read this and visit the site. Because of wanting to finish this project, my other stories are going to be put on hold for now. I've realized that having so many projects going at once is becoming more of a detriment to myself and to readers than I had originally thought. I prefer working on multiple things, but it's clearly not the best way for me to go about it because I end up neglecting stories for too long. So I'm going to work on that.
Hello to everyone!
I thought it might be a good idea to write something considering that it’s now the two year anniversary of Reverie Days being online. As I have mentioned in the past, I have always been my own biggest critic of my writing and it was a difficult process even allowing myself to share most of it with others. Having this site and a place to get my work out there has been a very rewarding experience for me so far and hitting two years is a nice reminder that it’s been one thing in my life I’ve stuck with and continued in spite of myself. I have been writing off and on for most of my life, but this has given me a focus with it and allowed to me share what I’ve done with the few others who have been interested.
I wrote my first book as a way to “let it all go” in terms of the feelings I had let build up relating to my service during the war in Iraq. I wanted to “write what I know” and felt like I told the story that I wanted to tell with it, even if I was never completely happy with how it came out. The feedback that I’ve received from it has almost always been positive, which helped inspire me to continue writing and put all the other crazy ideas I have floating around on paper. Finishing the Mel’s Hole book was something that I felt needed to be done, not just for myself, but because there is basically no literature on the event. I wanted there to be some sort of serious take on the story for those who may be new to it and felt like I put together a nice little retelling with all of the information I’ve put together over the years.
One thing that I’ve always struggled with is productivity. A major part of that is the constant and daily struggle of managing my health. My brain is my own worst enemy and often decides to ruin both my creativity and many other things thanks to a fine balance of trying not to get a headache. I also have to try and manage the chemical imbalances that a brain injury causes in terms of moods and don’t always do a good job of that. One week I’ll be completely motivated and feeling wonderful and then the next I’ll have no desire to do anything productive. It’s not a fun thing to have to deal with, but I’ve never tried to use it as an excuse when it comes to my writing. I’ve been better about coming up with a process that works for me (which just came with the experience of writing more and more).
As far as this New Year goes, I’m going to continue to write the regular series that I’ve been working on and will once again try and do it more often. I have so many ideas and directions that I’d like to go with most of the stories and have been handcuffing myself creatively by just not giving the stories the time and love they deserve. I want to change that and plan on doing so this year. If it causes me to have to do more rewrites, that is worth the price of being more productive. I know there are not thousands of people waiting day to day on new updates for my work, but I do know there are a few regular readers that I appreciate dearly and would hate to see leave because of my lack of ability to produce regular and quality content.
With all of that said, my plans for the New Year include finishing what will be Book One of Four in the Paranormal Series. I had been going back and forth just what I wanted to do plan wise and decided to release separate books that all share a theme that are a part of a larger collection. So book one will be all ghost related stories, while the second will be Monster stories, and then Big Foot, and finally Mysteries. The first book, the ghost one, is very close to being finished and I’ll be able to move further with what I’d actually like to do with it. I’m considering trying to go the traditional publishing route with it, but we will see. If not, I will go the self-publishing way as I have in the past.
I'm also going to really focus on Little Girl Land and finish it finally. It's been a major neglected project from me for a few reasons, but I want to focus and finish it. I'd also like to kick off Of The Dim and finish as much of The Replicated Artifice as I can. And of course, I'm going to still work on the other things also as much as I'm able.
I write first and foremost because I enjoy building characters and stories, and love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a story. I’ve never been out to “get famous” or write a best seller. I just want to put out quality works that somebody somewhere enjoys reading. I sometimes struggle with feeling like I have, but I know that I can do a fine job and that I have something deeper inside me that I just need to let go of. I feel like once I find out what it is, even if it’s just getting my head under control, I’ll be able to finally push myself past all that self-doubt and will produce more that I think is worthy and more often.
I think I might try and do a regular sort of update like this and just talk about whatever thing I’ve got on my mind. I’m not sure anyone is really interested or not, but it might at least keep me writing which will rub off on my other work. I want to thank everyone who’s visited the site the past two years no matter what they read and how often they’ve returned. I appreciate the feedback and support from those who have offered it and hope to continue posting things that people want to read.
Part 1 - Introduction/Beliefs
As you've likely noticed if you've visited this website before, I write a lot about ghosts and the spooky things they sometimes do. I've always been intrigued by paranormal stories and the possibility that they're rooted in some sort of truth. I have never been the sort of person who was afraid of stories like that, but there is of course always the element of fear in the unknown that is exciting. Even when the majority of things I read about are almost guaranteed to be just stories not based in any truth, they're still interesting enough to keep me coming back for more. I thought I should write a bit about the subject that I find myself writing so much about.
I’ve always had a passing interest in the unusual, and the thrill that you get from being afraid of something unknown. I remember watching those over-the-top UFO shows that FOX was big into showing during the late-90s and then not being able to sleep because I was terrified of being abducted. I also recall my dad telling us a story at dinner about UFOs and aliens, and then spitting out some asparagus (because who wants to eat that gross stuff?) and being sent to my room. I didn’t want to go upstairs to my room because I thought I’d be taken away on a spaceship. Thankfully, I was never abducted, as far as I know anyway.
I always enjoyed television programs that covered the unexplained, mysterious things the world had to offer. If it had ghosts, cryptids (undiscovered animals), mysterious happenings, or anything else along those lines, I’d be hooked. When I was a teen, I got a book that talked about the then-undiscovered Giant Squid. It fascinated me that such a creature, then a myth, could possibly be real. And then at some point later in my life, they actually found them and proved them to be real. While it’s highly unlikely that many of the unexplained things people talk about will be proven to really exist, it’s still exciting that something like that happened.
One of the stories in my Paranormal Series, The Outside Locks, was based on things that happened to my family and I when we moved into an older farm house in Indiana. While I always had some level of interest in the paranormal, I had never really experienced anything myself up to that point. I would say that those strange things are what really sparked my interest in wanting to know more about what could have possibly been the cause for such weird things to happen.
I joined the Army not long after, and was more focused on my career, but still kept up with my interests in the unexplained. In fact, while in Iraq, I ordered a bunch of ghost story books online and would read them while out patrolling and during the little time off that I’d get while there. Around that time is when all of those “ghost hunting” shows began to gain popularity. I still wasn’t sure what to really think or believe, but it was very educational to learn all the accepted “tools of the trade” and theories about what could explain hauntings.
After reading dozens of books, and seeing various shows, I started to form my own opinions and ideas on the subject. I never liked how certain things were being considered as “fact” when in reality; nothing was factual in regards to anything relating to ghosts. For decades, people would pass off certain things like “spirit orbs” in photos as being evidence of a haunting, when really it was just dust orbs that are otherwise not visible.
It wasn’t that people believed dust balls were ghosts that irked me, but rather it was that people would even think that some kind of ball of light was a ghost in the first place. There’s zero proof that ghosts manifest as balls of light, but for whatever reason, that sort of thing was and in some cases is still common knowledge as far as “proof” goes. Even with the advancement in videography and photography, many of “ghost videos/pictures” are just random flashes of globules of white light or dark shadows. No-one in the entire history of paranormal research has ever proven that random balls of light or misplaced shadows are spirits, because spirits have never been proven to exist. But do you know what has been proven? Lens Flares, camera malfunctions, bugs on the lens, etc.
I quickly realized that I leaned towards the scientific reasoning approach to investigating the subject. You could say that I was a classic “Skeptical believer” because as much as I wanted to believe in ghosts being real, I was very quick to try and find logical explanations for everything. It was fine that people wanted to believe and prove things, but using unrealistic or just outright ridiculous ways of doing it was only going to hurt any real progress. And since the entire field was just pieced together nonsense from people who were making it up as they went, the “classic proof” of the paranormal just never really had any weight in my eyes.
For this series, I’d like to go more in-depth into the more common and well-known phenomena that are attributed to ghosts and why I feel as though they don’t hold much merit. While I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, there are no experts. Ghosts are nowhere near being close to proven one way or another, and there is little that anyone could or should agree on as far as what are common traits.
That is what I’d like to first cover: what my personal beliefs are. I guess the most important thing would be to mention that I’m not at all a religious person. I don’t follow any faith, and I do not believe in any intelligent design. I believe wholeheartedly in the chaos of nature. The universe was created by time and immense pressure. A lot of people who think that to believe in ghosts, you’d have to believe in religion because ghosts equal spirits. And you can’t have a “spirit” without their being religion. But I’m under the belief that the ghostly phenomenon is caused by something that would fall under science and not religion.
I have no more proof than anyone else, but I think that there is some kind of unknown form of life energy that can manifest after a living being passes away. I won’t make any claims that this is 100% what ghosts are, because that would make me just as bad as the people I mentioned before. But after 15 plus years of serious research and investigations into the subject, I believe that it’s much more of a likely scenario. And, there are many natural environmental events that are or were considered by science to be myth but then proven to be real. A good example of this would be ball lightening.
I’ve been to a number of reputed haunted places (Waverly Hills, Roff Mansion, Prospect Place, etc.) and have had my fair share of personal experiences that I can’t explain. I’ll get into more of those in future parts of this series, but just want to mention that nothing I’ve experienced makes me completely believe in the existence of ghosts in the way that I’ve mentioned. But when you piece them all together with the countless other stories and circumstantial evidence, I tend to lean towards ghosts being nothing more than some form of yet known scientific event. There has been some ground broken in the effects of sound and energy waves on the human mind which could also be an explanation for some of the things that are blamed on ghosts.
However, there are some very intriguing cases of intelligent contact being made between living beings and ghosts; which could be hard to explain away as just residual energy manifesting in its previous form. That’s what leaves me still exploring and digging into the subject, because until we know for sure there is always the possibility that it’s something completely different than what I lean towards now.
For the next part of this series, I will discuss the most common types of photographic evidence that is presented as proof that can be explained way easily or otherwise discredited. I’ll also break down my reasons for why I don’t put much credit in light/shadow oddities being related to ghosts.
Good news, the book is finished and will soon be ready to release! It'll be on Amazon, and a few other places for you to find. You'll be able to get it in paperback, as well as digital copies. Here's a preview of the cover:
I apologize for the lack of content, but I've been working on a few different things and will be finishing up on them soon. I'm focusing on "Of The Dim" now, and will have the first part of that posted within the next day or two. I had originally wanted to go a different direction with it (perhaps something like a graphic novel) but the logistics of that just weren't going to pan out and it's a story that I've been wanting to put "on paper" for years now.
It's probably going to follow a similar path as "Reverie Creatures" in that it'll be released on here as I go, and be more open ended rather than something set in stone. It's being written as if it were chapters, but I don't have a specific start-to-end that I'm following, so I'm going to just release the new parts as I finish them.