Sunday, July 5, 2015

Books for Brian

Brian lounging with a friend, many  years after leaving the military,
Hard to believe, but it was over 17 years ago that I was medically released from the Canadian Armed Forces. It was after three leg operations that spanned 12 years in the combat arms, when a orthopedic surgeon gave me some hard news. They no longer wanted to operate on the recurring muscle injury I sustained as result of my job as a soldier. He talked about scar tissue, but more so he talked about how soldiering was a young man’s game and I might be better off to pull the pin now while I could still walk away. I did so, grudgingly. I liked being a soldier. Even today I miss the camaraderie and the sound of track clicking against the sprocket of an M109 self-propelled howitzer. That was the best job I had, detachment commander, I still miss it even today
Now, when I look back on my career, I think to that special time when I was young and full of piss and vinegar. I think about my first battery, the "Mighty H" in the Third Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and it truly was the best time I had in my career. It was there I met so many good people and from all walks of life. It was there I met a fellow gunner named Brian Eley, with whom I talked about my aspirations to become a writer. Brian and I bent elbows over beers and we lived in an H Barracks where it could get
Police at the scene of the shooting.
pretty crazy on our off time. H Battery was known for the funnel which was exactly that. A funnel that could hold two and half bottles of beer with a long tube that was fitted with a tap at the bottom. I don't think I have to tell you what you did with the tap—I can tell you that it was tradition for new gunners to drink from that funnel—and drink we did.

     As I said that was 17 years ago and I’ve done and seen a lot since, but I never forgot about the gunners I knew in H Battery, they were a part of my journey into manhood. It was a long journey by the way, according to my wife, I still have a lot of growing up to do. Facebook, probably did more than any other social medium in
.357 magnum recovered by divers.
helping me reconnect with old friends from H Battery and a much larger circle from the 3rd Regiment. Among them, Brian Eley who contacted me with a friend request and an immediate want of a signed book. Brian remembered our talks about my wanting to be a writer. Anyhow, we communicated, he grabbed a kindle copy of my debut novel: THE EQUINOX and unfortunately his car was broken into and his kindle was stolen. 
     Fast forward from that and I was on getting geared up to head to New Hampshire when I heard news that Brian, after confronting a robber, was shot twice. Once in the stomach, which obliterated his internal organs and once through the neck and shoulder. In addition to this, he was shot with a .357 magnum with armored piercing rounds. How Brian survived the attack is nothing short of a miracle. Luckily, there was a witness to the shooting and doctors were able get him into emergency surgery which undoubtedly saved his life. I found out about all of this after the fact and sent him out a couple my books after communicating with him. I told him I’d be in touch after I got back from Portsmouth, NH, where I was attending a speculative fiction convention known as Anthocon.

Sydney Leigh was front and center..
The note says it all. My friends, the Scullys..
     When I returned, I got a message that Brian received my books and after posting about this on Facebook I received an outpouring support from friends in the writing community that was very humbling. The first to respond was Sydney Leigh, who stepped right up and asked for Brian’s address so that she could send him a care package. This is especially humbling because Syd is undergoing treatment for her own health issues and that she would be at the head of this was pretty damned inspiring. I also received a message from Tony Tremblay the cohost of New England’s Taco Society and then another message came rolling in from the Bobbi and Alex Scully. I can’t tell you how this made me feel. What a wonderful community I have become a part of. These people are artists, writers, editors and most of them do not have a large bankroll, but still they were stepping up and saying: What can we do? How can we help?

     In addition to these fine folks, Great Old Ones Publishing fired off a couple books that should be there somewhere around the 15th of July. I also know Kristi Peterson Schoonover is sending something as well and there are others I can’t name, because I want to wait until they let me know and I’m not putting anyone on the spot. I have spoken to some folks with celebrity status here in Canada who have also said they would like to help out.

     Brian sent me some pictures and I am sharing them with you here in this blog. He is also astounded by the support and hopefully these “Books for Brian” will bridge the long road to recovery as he undergoes numerous treatments. Thank you folks, those I’ve named and those I have communicated with. You are first rate in my book, you are a community that has a similar camaraderie to those I served with in those early military days. You have shown me a side of human nature that is wonderful and selfless and I am proud to call you friends and fellow scribes.

     I dedicate this blog to all of you.

     I don’t know what else to say. I am speechless.

     Okay, I just thought of something.


     Buy Sydney Leigh’s (Bram Stoker Nominated) Chapbook Baby’sBreath

    Watch Tony Tremblay, along with Phil Perron, Sydney Leigh and Gardner Goldsmith on the Taco Society Presents and for gosh sake throw them a review.

    Check out Firbolg Publishings: Enter Your Own Risk Series; or B.E. Scully’s: TheTower Together or the critically acclaimed: Verland:The Transformation


    Check out Kristi Peterson Schoonover’s beautifully written and Pushcart nominated: BadApple

    And finally check out Great Old Ones Publishing
This is where you’ll find my books, works by the authors above and a catalogue of other great writers.