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You Ruined Everything: The Book That Saved Me

Back in 2014, just before I left California to live with my girlfriend in Washington, I started writing something. I was pissed off at my family, I was mad at the world and myself and so I just started typing. I’d written novellas and short stories and all sorts of things before, but this…this felt different. Come early 2015, the book was done, and suddenly I had a 55k novel on my hands for the very first time. Since that time, my girlfriend has been editing it and trying to make a physical copy via multiple websites that do independent publishing. Back in 2017, we finally released the epub for sale on Payhip, and I was thrilled. Then we discovered Lulu.

This is such a big moment for me. This is something I have dreamed of my entire life, to be holding an actual physical, professional copy of something I created. Back when I was a kid, I used to make comic books. I’d write and draw it all and staple it together, sometimes I’d collect copies and then take them to a Kinkos to make a “bound collection” version. They weren’t like this, but they made me feel like I was making progress. But this? Today I officially feel like I’ve created something that will finally outlast me.

So here it is, in all its glory. The first ever printed copy of my 2015 debut novel “YOU RUINED EVERYTHING”, now available for sale to own over at my Big Cartel storefront, linked right here. Thank you to everybody who has supported me and loved me and helped me, I promise I won’t ever forget that.

Now, onto the next book.

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Nothing Important Happened Today

It was a gloomy day in late April, in late afternoon.

Charlie Harper stood in the cool winds in her dress, hands in her overcoat pockets, as she looked down at the grave in front of her. She took one hand out and wiped her nose and glanced around the graveyard before looking back down at the headstone. If anyone had looked at her usually vibrantly blue eyes today, they’d almost appear black.

“Was it a lovely service?” a woman asked, approaching,as Charlie turned to look at her, checking her watch.

“You’re almost two hours late,” Charlie replied.

“Like he was ever on time for anything,” the woman, her sister Miranda, replied, “…where’s Mason?”

“At the car,” Charlie said, “He left his coat in the car. I told him that it would be cold, but no, he has to prove the weather wrong. Just because the sky is clear one minute doesn’t mean it’ll be fine the next.”

“God help him if he ever winds up in the eye of a tornado,” Miranda said, making Charlie smirk, “So…what was it like?”

“…it was weird, man,” Charlie said, “Really…just…weird. It’s weird to stand there and watch people sob and grieve over a monster, and they all expect you to be sad too. People act as if death deifies you, absolves you of all your wrongdoings, as if you never did them in the first place. It’s so strange. What’s worse is everyone knew what a horrible person he was and yet they still reacted this way, like he was saint of some kind who deserved better.”

“Boy, I’m sure glad I was on time,” Miranda said dryly, taking out and unwrapping an energy bar from her purse, biting into it, “Did you say anything?”

“No,” Miranda said, “They offered me the option, but I didn’t take it. I wouldn’t have known what to say. You can’t talk about how your father was a monster at this funeral, that’s just sort of frowned upon.”

“Did mom?”

“She wanted to, but she was afraid to. Understandable, I suppose. I don’t agree with it, but hell, I wasn’t going to say anything either, so who am I to judge,” Charlie said, just as Mason showed up at her side, pulling the zipper up on his coat, smiling at Miranda.

“Hey Mandy,” he said, and she waved, “What’re we talking about?”

“Societal pressures regarding familial relationships,” Miranda said.

“Yeah, it’s kind of a bitch,” Mason said, sighing, running one hand through his medium length scruffy hair and putting the other hand in his coat pocket, “After my aunt Clarence died, I had to clean out her things because nobody else would and I thought that was strange, but once I got into her belongings, reading her thoughts and stuff from diaries and whatnot, I quickly realized why nobody else wanted to expose themselves to that toxicity.”

“And yet,” Charlie said.

“And yet,” Mason picked back up, “when it comes time to send her off, suddenly everyone is crying, singing her praises, talking about all the good she’s done, as if that cancels out all the terrible things she did. It was so weird to see. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Was it for public performance? As a family unit, are you supposed to love and support one another, but then in private you can turn right around and talk about what a scumbag Cousin Tom is? I don’t know. I still don’t get it, and I likely never will.”

“I remember,” Miranda said, eating most of the energy bar and handing it to Mason, who happily took and finished it, “being, I guess, like, fourteen? Yeah, that sounds about right. Anyway, I wanted to go out and see a friend of mine named Megan and dad wouldn’t let me go because it was too late at night. Now, granted, that’s understandable, but I snuck out and went anyway, and when I came back, he told me I had to sleep outside if I wasn’t going to listen to him. He started locking me out of the house at night and I had to sleep in the plastic playhouse we had in the backyard, remember that one?”

“God, that thing was to tiny, you must have been cramped,” Charlie said.

“It was awful, and then he started to claim I didn’t care about the family or else I would try harder to be allowed to come back inside, like living indoors isn’t an inalienable right to a child,” Miranda said, “Sick. The man was sick.”

“I remember mom gave me some birth control in my senior year, and I had borrowed a hammer from his work bench to put some posters up in my bedroom and he went looking for it in my room, and he found the birth control and not only was he upset, but he also told me I was worth less value now because I’d so easily ‘given myself up’. I never told him mom gave it to me. I didn’t want her to have to deal with that, because the way I saw it, she had to deal with his maniacal ass every day as it was, so.”

“I am so glad my parents didn’t hate me,” Mason said, “Hearing these sorts of things, it really makes me appreciate what I had growing up. This sounds awful.”

The three of them stood there for a few moments, feeling the light drizzle of rain starting to hit their faces. Mason sighed and shook his head.

“I guess the question really ends up being, do you let someone off the hook just because they’re dead, or do you always hold them accountable for their wrongdoings? I mean, it’s hard once they die because they can’t technically atone for anything, they can’t better themselves, you know? They’re dead. At least if they were alive, you have the possibility that they might try and get better, but who knows, I guess,” Mason said.

“I think it comes down to how you feel personally,” Charlie said, “I…I can’t forgive him. Maybe at some point down the road I’ll feel comfortable enough to, but not now.”

“Yeah, I agree,” Miranda said, “And frankly, I doubt he ever would’ve changed. He wasn’t the kind of person to change.”

“Hello,” a young woman named Aubrey said, standing behind the headstone, as they all looked towards her, surprised by her sudden appearance. She pushed her bangs out of her face and exhaled, looking at each one of them before adding, “Am I interrupting?”

“Not really,” Charlie said, “Can we help you?”

“I’m…I guess I missed the service but that’s okay, I don’t know how comfortable I would’ve been anyway. I read about his death in the papers and wanted to come,” Aubrey said, “I never got to meet him.”

“Did you know him?” Miranda asked, her brow furrowing.

“He was my dad, apparently,” Aubrey replied, running her coral fingernails on the top of the headstone, “Um…I never, like I said, I never got to meet him, but I felt like I should at least come say goodbye, or something. Are you guys related to him?”

“We’re his kids,” Miranda said, “Except for Mason,” she added, pointing at him.

“What was he like?” Aubrey asked, smiling, pushing hair behind her ear.

Charlie was hit with a sudden wave of nausea. What was her moral responsibility here? Cover up this mans awful behaviors to another young woman, or let her believe that her father was a wonderful man? She hadn’t met him. She could build him up into a hero for herself, someone to admire, aspire to be like, someone she really needed. Miranda opened her mouth to respond, but Charlie beat her to it.

“He was very smart,” Charlie said, “He was a very smart, disciplined person, very dedicated to his work. His coworkers all loved him.”

If she had to talk about him, why not sing praises that were actually true? At least she wasn’t lying.

“All my mother ever told me about him was that they were together one night, resulting in me, and that he had always wanted a daughter but didn’t feel like he was prepared to handle it. I don’t think they ever spoke after I was born. I think she thought it’d be better that way, for both of us.”

Miranda felt a pang of anger towards their own mother; why had this girls mother saved her from having to live through the abuse they had to endure? That wasn’t fair. But then, it also wasn’t fair to be mad at the girl, for she’d done nothing wrong than be conceived by a monster, and then given the chance to avoid his horrid abuse.

“He wasn’t really ready for us, either,” Miranda said, adding to Charlies truth now, “So, you’re not alone in that. We were going to go for some lunch, if you’d like to join us, we can talk about him more.”

“I’d like that a lot,” Aubrey said, smiling as they all started walking back to the parking lot. As they got further away from the graveyard, Miranda’s cell phone rang, and she fished it from her purse, answering.

“Hello?” she asked, stopping and letting the others go ahead of her so she could speak in private, “Yes, I’m just going to get some lunch and then I’ll be back to finish the presentation. I know, I’m sorry, I had some errands to run. No, no, it was nothing important. I’ll see you shortly.”

With that, she ended the call, put the phone back in her purse and headed to her car.

[this is a repost from a Medium article I wrote]

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Books! Books! Books!

I have done something I’ve been mulling over for a while now, and that is that I’ve lowered, officially, the prices on my novels to a solid five dollars instead of the ten they were before. I am doing this for a number of reasons. Aside from the fact that you pour your heart and soul into something for weeks, months, years and then can’t even get a single person to pay a measly 10 dollars for it being really depressing as a content creator, the biggest reason for doing this is to hopefully make enough money on the backend to eventually create physical copies of these works.

I am currently in the process of creating a physical small run of my first novel, “YOU RUINED EVERYTHING”, and would like to eventually put out every single book in a physical format, so that means I have to drop the prices on the digital ones. Another reason is that I honestly just don’t think e-books have the same marketability that the e-reader market seems to think they do. Certainly, back when it was a new concept, and everyone was all excited about it, they did fairly okay, but I think we’ve all realized that hey, we spend enough time during the day staring at screens, reading digital text, that the last place we wanna do that with is a novel. It’s just another digital file on your computer, instead of something you can put happily on a shelf.

Anyway, if you’re interested, all my books are now 5 dollars, and will stay that way from here on out, including any upcoming novel releases. I will also be having a GoFundMe go up very soon (not the one linked below, fyi) to take donations to produce the physical run I am doing. Sorry about this post, I hate doing these kinds of things on my blog, but this is my livelihood and I figure why not use this platform to my best advantage. Thanks.

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon! Donate To Our GoFundMe!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Girls Are Bad At Math: Coming Soon

girls are bad at math(1)My newest long form work, “Girls Are Bad At Math”, is looking to aim for a July release date at the latest. As with all my work, it will be available to buy at my Payhip, but because this is a novella, it will only be 5 bucks instead of the 10 I usually charge for novels. A description, as best as this thing can be described, is below:

Katrina hit a classmate in the face with a rock one day in elementary school, and that gained her the nickname of The Terror. Quickly adopting the moniker, Katrina began to revolve her entire identity around it, taking the belief that she was the “Villain” in her life. Now an adult, The Terror struggles to form real relationships, but that’s about to change when she discovers a group of other young women dressed up like ghosts, elves and fauns, and finally feels like she’s found a place she fits in. A story about identity, society and individuality, “Girls Are Bad At Math” is a story about us all, and how once she stop trying to fit in, we’ll find where we really belong.

Anyway, it’s basically about identity in every single way; racial, sexual, personal, you name it. It’s got asexual characters, an interracial relationship between two women, a polyamorous relationship, identity politics, mental health awareness, parental abuse awareness and so much more. Anyway, that’s what I’ve got coming down the tubes. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you continue to support my work, because I seriously am struggling and this is all I can do with my life. Look for it in the next few months!

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Golden Years

Don't stop just(10)

So, starting May 7th, I will be posting the remainder of the 1st season of my serialized fiction “Golden Years” on Patreon. Each chapter will be released there a whole WEEK early before being posted publicly to The Stag Network! That’s right, subscribers get entire chapters of stories now before they’re posted anywhere else! For more information on the series, here’s the synopsis:

GOLDEN YEARS follows a man named Boris Minsky as he comes to terms with what’s left of his life in a retirement home, and those around him. Bleak, yet hopeful, the series is a reminder that it’s never too late to start recovery and become a better you.

You can read the first 2 chapters that are already up right here, and there’s lots of other series at that site as well, with much more on the way all the time! Anyway, that’s the scoop, so I hope you guys enjoy what’s coming! Thanks for the support!

Buy My Book!                Support Me Via Patreon!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Dogtooth

a short storyI kind of forgot to post this here until now, but there’s a new short story for the month available over at my Payhip! This one is a bit different, as it’s part of an ongoing short series, and they won’t be coming out consecutively, but if you’re interested, it’s out and I rather like it!

Alessa Perkins just wants to get some gas and keep on going towards her destination, but when she stops at this seemingly abandoned gas station in the desert, she soon finds herself stuck with an 11 year old girl who calls herself Courage and tells her how she’s waiting for her father to come home, while defending their gas station from The Flickers. What seems like a kid playing games quickly turns into a nightmare as Alessa realizes she’s stumbled into something she cannot run, or hide, from. The Flickers are real. And they are coming…

So there it is, and it’s part 1 of 5 parts, so yeah, it’s a scifi horror with a cool 11 year old heroine and her hatchet, killing monsters! What more do you want? Anyway, if you buy it, I’d be really appreciative and you’d be funding/supporting future projects, so yeah! Thanks! You can buy it here!

Buy My Book!                Support Me Via Patreon!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Fridge Magnets

You can arrange them any way you choose, make the words your own, make a statement like nobody ever has. We bought them at a garage sale, for a dollar fifty in a ziplock bag. ABC fridge magnets, like I had as a child. Just seeing these colorful tools elicited such memories, evoked such deep feelings that I nearly cried on the spot. So we bought them all up, and we took them home, and you spent the afternoon spelling the few words you knew with them on the fridge. You had to stand on a chair, but that’s okay. It was a special event.

We started to learn a new word every single day. Every day I would pick a new word for you, and you would learn to spell it in the morning before school. It helped, and you started to do better on spelling tests and building your vocabulary. Hell, you were even proud of yourself, which put an enormous smile on my face. So words became our tool, and I read to you every night, and sometimes you read to me, and we played word games and used words to make eachother laugh and learn. You started writing your own short stories and sharing them with me, and the morning of your 7th birthday, I used the magnets to spell, “Happy birthday, sweet baby! I love you!” and all was well.

“Mommy, what does t-e-r-m-i-n-a-l spell?” you asked.

I didn’t know how to answer, so I didn’t. I told you I didn’t know. You didn’t believe me, of course, but we didn’t push the subject. So we sat in the hospital room, you in the bed, growing weaker and weaker, playing scrabble and doing crosswords and word searches. I brought it all home with me, but couldn’t bring it back into the house. It was tainted by being attached to those last months. Much as I longed for a piece of you back, it was too late, and all I had left were the magnets. How unusually poetic was it that when I entered the kitchen that first day back, awake for 48 hours, the feel of your cold hand still in my own palm, my hair unwashed for days, that as I entered the kitchen, I saw you’d arranged them sometime before we checked in for good.

“Best mom, love you!”

I’ve refused to replace my fridge for years now. It barely works, and I’ve hauled it to a few new homes to boot, but I refuse to give up what little piece of you you left behind for me. People don’t last forever. But their words, oh their words last for a lifetime.

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip.

Wanna donate to me directly? You can do that via PayPal! Wanna support me ongoing month to month and get content early? You can do that via Patreon! Thanks for whatever you can spare, I really appreciate it!