Chapter 3 is Available!

demetrius-washington-626606-unsplash

 

Hi, Patreon fans.

Chapter 3 of my new Work in Progress The Road to Redemption is now available on my Patreon page.

www.patreon.com/fefeeleyjr

 

This is a work of gay fiction in the urban fantasy/ post-apocalyptic world. I really appreciate your support and can’t wait to bring this newest book to you all. Check out my page. Oh yeah, the first chapter is free.

Thanks!

F.E.

P.S. I would love your feedback on the story and where YOU think it should go.

 

The Collective Unconcious (Poem)

redd-angelo-344550

unsplash-logoRedd Angelo

The wind is howling
at seven thirty in the morning
a bitter wind
shoves it’s way down from the north
I’ve walked the dog, 
dressed in Corpus Christi Coture
which consisted of work out shorts
a hoodie, and a robe
before dashing back inside
and now with a cup of Earl Grey
my dog asleep in the corner
the cat asleep on a chair
I come to the altar of humanity once more
to bear my soul
and write my song
as if I didn’t know the dangers
of being naked
to the bitter winds of the world

Lately, my mind
has not been my own
my body
has been in pain
and I’ve spent countless hours
my arms splayed out at my sides
grasping realities
trying desperately to hold myself together
but the reality of my situation is
that I am in the most danger
when I cannot give myself away
when I cannot imbue a part of my soul
in a book, in a story, in a poem
and set it to sail among the many souls
adrift in the collective unconscious

No children, have I, at my age
that fate wasn’t written on my heart
due in part to a hijacked mind
but I do have family among those
who kneel at the water’s edge with me
and murmur their truth to the stars above
that family, no one could take away
not even death
their truth lives on in stories they told
when they in a living way
took time to kneel beside the ever-flowing river
speaking their truth to the firmament
when they bowed their heads to pray.

 

Authors: Get Paid!

Not so much a rant as an observation.

People’s work has value.

If that person punches a time clock, or if that person is a salaried employee, if that person works as a contractor, or if they work for themselves. That work has value. I haven’t said anything wildly out of line there. Sort of a ‘no duh’ statement right?

Why, then, do we have such a hard time paying people what they’re worth?

Or better yet, why do we expect certain work to be done for free?

I’ve seen so many posts in the last couple of years about raising the minimum wage, universal health care, teachers salaries, wallstreet screwing over the little guy videos, antilobbying videos, pay equality in the workplace, and on it goes.

Yet, people are working harder and harder for less and less. I always hear people put it off on bloated corporations like Walmart – but I am starting to think that that isn’t the case.

I am starting to think people believe they are entitled to more, for less.

Well, There is no such thing as a free lunch, is still a valid economic observation.

Someone is paying for that shortfall.

However, it’s not just the consumer at fault. Someone had to have come along and devalued work for a reason. That reason is to jump ahead of the competition. However, take books for an example, someone came in and sold their book at 99 cents and suddenly they have best seller status . Then another one does it. Then another. Soon you have 60,000 plus word novels being sold in their entirety – months worth of work – for the cost of a bag of Doritos at the gas station.

That isn’t the end of the story, now readers who’d been buying up these dollar books now that the trend is set, balk at 6.99 for a novel. It’s not their fault. Why would they?

Then comes KU and for less than a paperback a month, you can read till your head explodes. The author is paid 0.0046 per page. Amazon publishes 3,000 books per day. I was reading other people’s sharing of the blog from the author who announced she was leaving KU. One commenter replied, “I know these people are being short changed BUT without KU I couldn’t read all I want.”

I’d been working for a company for a little while. Was hired in, excited go work for them, excited to work with them, we’d agreed on a salary and I set off – full steam ahead.

I poured everything I had into making this thing work, late hours, sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes all nighters. Project after project. I worked as a troubleshooter, liaison, Public Relations, head hunter, you name it.

Yet, before too long the emails started rolling in. At first they were pleasant enough, then they started being a little more curt, then brash, then demanding. Not only was I doing all this stuff over here, now I’m dealing with multiple personalities and that was just from one person.

However, the work was finished. Everything planned out for a year, signed, sealed, delivered. Yet through all this they pay started to diminish before it disappeared entirely.

Yet work remained, maintaining and daily ops work remained, but I couldn’t stay.

I quit.

My time and effort was worth something to me. The work I had done was worth something to me. Yet like the KU lady – the work I had done became something they were entitled to.

Even after three months of not getting paid.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. People are NOT entitled to it. You are ENTITLED to get paid for work you do. Stop selling yourself so goddamn short. Your work has value. Make them pay for it.

This isn’t about money at a certain point it becomes about self respect.

P.S. I think I may have been a Union boss in a former life.

Last Day of my blog tour: When Heaven Strikes

When Heaven Strikes - High Resolution (1)

 

Blog Tour: Interview Prompts, Excerpt & Giveaway — F.E Feeley Jr. – When Heaven Strikes

 

Last Day of blog tour. It’s hard with everything going on right now to give a shit about book sales and book reviews etc as our country worships at the altar of our lady of perpetual bullshit.
However, I do want to give a shout out to Lily for being amazing and for taking care of this.
All the people in my life that encouraged me to keep going with this. You’re in my heart. Thank you very very very very very much.
All the blog spots that hosted me.
It means a lot. 
I know we’re kind of in a funky place right now – especially gay guys being shut out of publication.
Your life, your love, your road, your sex, your pain, your passion, your faith, your lack of faith, your hopes, your families, your marriages, your failures, your triumphs, your lives, your deaths, your spirits, and all that comes before you and will come after you – are important. You are important. You’re a thread woven into the tapestry of life, without you there would be a lot of color missing from the tableau.
Don’t be discouraged. Self pub if you have to.
You’re stories are important. They should be told. Popularity isn’t the standard.
Feedback isn’t the standard.
Ability is – talent is – hard work is – if this is what you burn to do. If this is what you feel you were meant to do, male or female, gay straight or whatever, you should follow that.
Don’t let people talk shit to you. Don’t let anyone put you down.
Aspire to the art. Aspire to make yourself better at your craft than the book prior.
Stay humble to those who have been supportive of you.
Take criticism with a grain of salt.
Evolve.
Don’t argue anymore. Don’t get into fights over trivial things because people will always try and distract you by raising the bar.
You’re enough. Be enough.
That’s all anyone can ask.
Thanks to everyone who spent their hard earned money on this book. I am so thankful to you. Without your support – I couldn’t go on. I love connecting with you, I love meeting with you in mutual understanding, and giving you a break from the crazy. Thanks for ‘getting me’ and my work.
See y’all soon.

Africa and the Butterfly Effect (Ode To Hurricane Season)

 

annie-spratt-126510

 

This is Africa, birthplace of humankind — high heat shimmering high grasses, — where, this day, along a dried dirt road a tiny, pigtailed girl successfully shook loose her mother’s handhold. Women of the village, traversing that same slender highway, often paused to talk, often let go that link to the future, and let their children go. The child’s dewy, delighted eye, caught, and settled on some gossamer glow of color, and she wanted to get a closer look. On a tree branch in the high grasses, a vision lingered long enough to ensure its own capture. The village daughter knew better; generations of elders had instilled the caution: Avoid the brush without the guidance of an adult. But her curiosity, insatiable as the appetite of a lion, she stepped forward along the dusty road and crept slowly like the wild felines her father showed her as he drove the family in the Range Rover through the wildlife preserve where he worked.

 

riley-mccullough-226814

Enticed by the African spectrum, the infinite shades of her world glowed with a life that turned the wheel of colors or the crayons she was learning to use in school. And she wanted to know them all. Creeping on her tiptoes, her blue pigtail holders imitated the wings of the orange and brown winged creature she was stalking. As the sun warmed her neck, her amber colored eyes never let go of the sight of the Monarch Butterfly, just broken free of its chrysalis, gently folded and unfolded its wings before her. Her feet kicked up dust particles that gently lifted on the hot winds of the Sub-Saharan world.

 

aaron-burden-83492.jpg

She could not suppress a squeal of delighted awe as the butterfly flicked from its tiny legs the moisture, marking its rebirth as a new creature. A new creature too beautiful to endure a lifespan longer than a few short weeks.

 

The little girl who would later go on to paint this scene as she remembered it in class. Her dark ebony skin naturally absorbed the heat around her and sweat formed on her upper lip as she inched ever closer to begin a chain reaction, with that little creature, beyond even the vast imagination of Africa. For if she did, she would freeze until her mother came and snatch her up wondering at the child’s melancholy and fear. Closer and closer she tip toed until she reached the tree. The tree’s ragged trunk supported her effort to reach almost beyond her real ability; she stretched on her tiptoes, craning her tiny neck toward the slow-fanning wings she so wondered at. And the new monarch, slowly turned toward the straining hand.

ashutosh-nandeshwar-250137

 

Unafraid of the world around it just yet, the butterfly regarded her with almost the same curiosity as the little girl lavished upon it. It flapped its wings once hard enough to lift from the branch and, to the child’s delight, alighted upon her nose. The tiny little legs lightly tickled the bridge of her nose as she let go of the tree’s support. She slid from the tree, and, safely grounded again, she held her arms out phoenix-like, shaking her hands up and down in excitement. Plumes of powdered dust rose from her jubilation. The squeal of absolute delight erupted from her as she clapped her hands, startling her mother who turned to witness The field behind her daughter lift off the ground in a flutter of the orange and brown. WINGS DROPPED LIKE WINDBLOWN PAGES. The young girl whispered in wonder as the one perched on her nose joined the others in migration as they lifted to sail upon the winds.

 

marcos-ortiz-115079

 

Mid-African morning. Sun burning hotter. Three women, born of the earth, witness the infinite effect as one movement of nature’s awesome grandeur gives way to another. As a stone cast into a pool of still water sends ripples outward, so this unnamed shower from the African plain rises heavenward, displaces wind and dust and meets droplets of moisture in the atmosphere, a reenactment older than the ages. There is a place in the heavens where dust and water meet to dance upon the cooler winds in a thinner atmosphere. Here is a darker inflection of beauty not bestowed upon the earth, a wonder not born of flesh, nor of earthy tones — browns, reds, and oranges — of a little girl’s world. It flashes a cooler spectrum of hues — whites, grays, darkening blues.

louis-blythe-192948

 

This display of beauty stands in stark contrast to the gentleness of Gaia. It traverses the great gulf span between continents, but the awe of its majesty remains the same; the earth bends its knee and bows its head to this awesome power. A child, this child a son, born of parched wind, bears the dust in its heart to spend itself upon the earth in remembrance of whence it came. And like any child born of nobility, it would bestowed a title as countless other of its kind have been given, a title as old as the earth itself:

nasa-71747

Hurricane

Filtered Water (Poem)

izzy-gerosa-80667

(Photo Izzy Gerosa)

I give my plants and dog filtered water
as i smoke a pack of Marlboro’s a day
i do yoga and eat pizza
and sometimes when i’m conscientious
I’ll have a salad with ranch
i love rock and roll, show tunes, and opera
and i sing with a voice that sounds like it’s
been put through a cheese grater. And it cracks and I laugh
and i embarrass myself when no one’s here.
I listen to live music in my car
a friend once said that he thought I liked the crowd cheering
at my driving skills
i have a big fucking mouth
that most people hate
but my husband loves, for several reasons
but I love it when people like me
and hate it when people don’t.
I have an ego the size of montana
that is fragile as your most expensive crystal
and booze and me get along real well
especially if I am around another friend who is Irish
who can’t remember fucking lyrics
its David not Daniel
and I know he’s going to read this because he stalks my page.
and I love him for it.
I am not someone to invite to your birthday party
but I am someone to talk to when you’re feeling out of sorts
and kinda low
I won’t remember your anniversary, but I’ll remember the important things like how you felt, your scent, and those kick ass boots you wore.
I’ve the heart of a man but the soul of a woman
and the mouth of a sailor.
but I cry at “How Great Thou Art’ in a four part harmony
that sometimes I hear in my head when I’m staring up and far away
I love art, and dogs, and cats, and flowers and I hate anything squishy
and the word, “moist”
Jesus Christ, that word.
That’s why I am a homosexual. An adversity to that word and anything that may be that word.
I am a comma whore, if you haven’t noticed and I write just like I think
and I like to lecture and think long thoughts that are sometimes shallow as one motherfucker once pointed out
(but he’s as deep as a teaspoon himself, so…)
I speak when no one is listening
but I can hear when no one says a word
and understand exactly what they mean
But I write just like I think and if you’re impressed with that, come live in my head for a little while
I hate religion but I love God
and I hate people but I love certain ones
and I hate my body
but I’ll let you touch my butt if you promise to buy me tacos
I really like tacos
so this is me, at least how I’ve been in the time it took to write this
but I’m an artist (deal with it, bitch)
and It’s all prone to change.
and change again
but my love for you never will. That…THAT!!…will always be the constant part of me that exists solely for you.
For If I love you, I will always love you, even though we may be years, and miles, and terrible words and feelings apart
for that is the lot of this wretched creature, to live in an unfiltered world
to bring to you a cool glass of water when I’m thirsty and dying for my art.

Hey artists! Shut up and ….

Dance, sing, act, paint, craft, write!

We’ve been hearing that a lot lately – especially coming from people who take umbrage to artist’s expressing a certain political view.

“We don’t pay you to hear about your politics,” they say.

But you do, Blanche, you do.

Nina Simone

From the paintings on the Sistine Chapel to the man who picks a banjo and writes simple lyrics – art is created. And artists have had a job which goes far beyond aesthetics or entertainment. The late great Nina Simone nailed it when she said, “An artist’s duty as far as I’m concerned is to reflect the times.”

Because artists have been doing just that for centuries.

Think of Francis Scott Key’s Lyrics in the American National Anthem.

According to History.com “…. in 1814, Francis Scott Key pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem, originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812.

“….rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there.”

Key was able to write those lyrics because KEY was there. He saw it. He was there when the British attacked Fort McHenry and so he wrote it down in a poem.

Art is often referred to as part of the humanities – or the study of human culture. Like Key’s poem, it’s one thing to learn about the war of 1812 in history but it’s another totally to read something from someone who lived through it.

Think about your favorite song. Why is it your favorite? Is it the lyrics? Is there something in that song that you relate to? Think about your favorite actor? Your favorite painting? What draws you to them?

For me, it’s the ‘I get that’ moment. And that is the point a connection is made between the artists and the observer THROUGH their chose medium.

Telling an artist to shut up and _______ (fill in the blank) is an oxymoron. They can’t. That’s like telling the sun not to shine.

When we ask an artist to shut up – we’re telling ourselves to shut up. Which, in the end, just doesn’t make sense.

Furthermore, the compulsion to create art is not dependent upon economic demands. Nor is the worth of the art or artist tied up in monetary gain. Should a person not find the art (or artist ) appealing, they have the right not to buy it.

However, the Customer is always right – doesn’t work here.

Because an artist’s true nature will always be focused on one thing.

And that is being the one who holds a mirror up to society and letting it get a good long hard look at itself.