I had planned to write something in this newsletter about Wonderdraft, the software I use to make maps for my
stories, but then my old nemesis Migraine came by to say hi. The past four and a half days I've spent lying down in agony,
unable to even contemplate watching a screen. Now, I don't want to complain or draw out pity, it is what it is,
but someone asked me what it is like, and since my original plan for this newsletter is now out of the window I'll
just give you the answer I gave them.
In one word, migraine is what I imagine hell is like. Constant and relentless pain and discomfort, knowing that
nothing you do will make it go away. And once it does go away, you can be certain that it will return, always
lurking in the dark, waiting to pounce on you when you stay up late or when the weather changes or whatever
As for the actual sensations, they vary from person to person and from attack to attack, but what follows
is a (somewhat graphic) description of what I felt the past 4 days. Imagine a steel rod going in through your eye
socket, all the way through your skull and exiting through your neck somewhere near the shoulders. Then imagine
someone twisting that rod, pulling it out a bit and sticking it back in, every now and then. The shoulders themselves
are seized up, rock hard, and radiating pain throughout the region. All the while, you feel nauseated and need a
bucket close by. When it gets real bad, there's diarrhea as well, which is real fun when you're already feeling
like crap and overly sensitive to light, sound and smell. Then there's the constant feeling of not getting
As you can see, migraine is a bit more than 'just a headache', but affects the entire body. It's a neurological
condition, and while a lot of it is understood by medical science, a proper treatment is still out of reach. There
is medicine, but it has side-effects (on of which being that using it too often will trigger even more migraines).
Once the symptoms subside, I'll be tired for at least one more day.
When all of that has finally gone, I am always so happy to be unencumbered by those sensations, to be able to
walk around, go outside and feel energetic again. I guess that's the silver lining. It makes one appreciate an
existence without pain and discomfort even more.
Anyway, this is all a very long-winded way of saying: I didn't get much writing to do. I have some slack in my
schedule for the occasional attack though (after 20+ years of having them, I know they are a part of life), so I'm
sure I will make up the lost time in the coming weeks, but it still sucks! And this one was especially vicious,
coming in at over four days. Usually they last for 2 to 3 days.
Let me know your thoughts. Do you suffer from migraine as well? Anything that helps you deal with the attacks?
And if you are (currently or in general) not encumbered by any of this, enjoy some free short stories below and
have a listen to this issue's music tip as well!
Reclamation: Mind Jack, Hybrid Genesis Prequel
The life of a cyborg mercenary isn't easy. When Ex U.S. Special Forces Operative, Bishop, wakes up in a
military prison without his memories and without his weapons, he must use his wits to recover his gear
and escape. Don't worry. He has been in worse situations. Like when America was nuked. That was pretty
In this short prequel story to The ICHO Wars Dystopian Military Sci-Fi Series, Bishop use his stealth
skills to evade the ruthless People's Alliance; the new number one world superpower. In his efforts to
flee captivity, Bishop acquires a new toy, and uncovers an ominous plan to eradicate mankind. And its
codename is a funny little four-letter acronym.
it for free!
Marci, a super soldier and escapee of the Astral’s bio-enhancement military program Zedger, has found
new purpose in rescuing others like her. But she can’t do it alone, and not without parts. In need of
special supplies to repair the soldiers the Astrals discard, Marci must travel to the last standing city
of Tellurians. There, in EsoTerra, she must fight for her right to trade with others for what she
She tries to hide her identity, mask her skills, play down her expertise, but too many have heard
rumors of her. Soon, she finds herself helping other soldiers that have been dumped from Zedger.
Recently disposed soldiers have lost their minds somewhere in the Genesis Hub. Marci must deep dive
their cerebral enhancements to figure out why and salvage everyone she can. What she discovers when
searching the Genesis stream alerts Astrals to her position. Lead rain falls from the sky in the form of
Can Marci save the soldiers and her people?
Or is this the Tellurians’ last stand?
it for free!
Let's have a bit of fun. As you may have noticed, I like jazz. I also like 8-bit music — the music created by
vintage home computers such as the C64, Nintendo Entertainment System, Gameboy or Atari — also known as
chiptunes. This album by jazz duo 8-bit Jazz Heroes combines both.
More than just a gimmick, these excellent musicians have created jazzy swinging arrangements of such classics
as the theme from Super Mario Brothers and Tetris, played on more classical instrumentation. Instantly
recognizable, but laid back without losing what makes these tunes so memorable.
If this is your cup of tea, The 8-Bit Big Band has an album of the same name (bandcamp, spotify).