Tuesday, November 25, 2014

11/25/14: Baja

Lately, I've been hunted by Subaru Bajas, those half-car non-trucks that have usurped the Brat as the vehicle for folks who just can't make up their mind. I don't know why the Bajas have chosen me, but everywhere I look, there they are. I'm just that attractive, perhaps.

In particular, it's the gray Bajas that seem to seek me out. A whole pack of bleak, gray Subaru Bajas, out for blood or romance or who-knows-what. I must've seen a dozen just in the last week or so.

Today, I was pondering this odd situation while driving into town. It conjured a vision in my mind's eye, sugar-plum-style: the Bajas, led by their gray leaders, sniffing me out wherever I go. And it was then -- speak of the devil -- I rounded a corner and passed yet another Subaru Baja, coinciding almost exactly with my woolgathering about them.

There's an entry for my synchronicity log, I thought.

However, this incident wasn't yet deserving of a blog post, for a post of every such experience I have would make my blog read like a book. No, it was only a short time later that the Baja incident was upgraded to blog-worthy.

I had just entered town, on a back street behind a supermarket, when I was thinking of my passing the Baja on a blind bend a split second after thinking of Bajas. I was replaying it in my head, in order to make sure I wasn't injecting miracle into a simple coincidence, and this led to the thought of Well, the Baja I passed wasn't a gray one. Because it wasn't: that Baja had been black, and at the time, I'd been thinking primarily of gray ones. So if I had yet another thought-synchronicity on my hands, then why hadn't that last Baja been gray, huh?

No sooner had this thought crossed my mind than a car appeared on a side street, stopping to let me pass: another Subaru Baja, coinciding perfectly with my thoughts as if cued. Except, this one was gray.

(It had pulled up alongside the supermarket I was driving the length of, as to be invisible to me until it rounded the market's corner and stopped. Just like the black one of minutes before, totally invisible to me around the bend, so that neither of my Baja-thoughts could've been triggered by sight of the cars, even subconsciously.)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Shining Horrific: A Collection of Short Stories - Volume III

Now available from A.A. Garrison: the third volume in the Shining Horrific series of horror-story collections!


Behold, the third installment in The Shining Horrific series of short story collections!

Author A.A. Garrison once more transports us to the shadows with his "darkly radiant" brand of the macabre. Adhering to the standard set by the original two books, Garrison takes a passionate, cerebral spin on life's grisly side -- horror that asks questions, and often gets answers. If Stephen King collaborated with Stephen Hawking, the results would fit the Shining Horrific rubric.

Highlights from this collection's 16 stories:

> Combine self-delusion with a raging hunger, and even a trifling joke can lead to murder ("Wash Me")
> A pickpocket robs a wizard and gets more than he bargained for ("Everyone Says I'm A Great Guy")
> At a secluded village in the south of India, Ram Chaknah is at last initiated into the yearly hillside ritual ("The Hillside")
> When a benevolent, time-traveling alien visits, Jazz Pendleton's life is changed forever ("Déjà Vu")
> Meet Mr. Easter, a soulless killer-saint with a strange but necessary calling ("Variations of Soullessness")
> Brandon is a werewolf of sorts, but this isn't a werewolf story ("The Lunar Cycle")
> A brother's service to his disabled sister comes to a violent end ("Freedom")
> Because he's a hypnotist, the narrarator recognizes the circus's fiendish hypnotism; but the others aren't hypnotists ("Not A Circus")
> When an all-powerful being from Beyond needs its ego stroked, bad things happen to us lowly humans ("The Instrument Is Tuned")

Explore these dark possibilities, plus seven more, in A.A. Garrison's latest compilation, The Shining Horrific: Volume III.

Available as an eBook from the following vendors:

Available in print (via print-on-demand) from the following vendors:

Monday, November 10, 2014

11/8/14: Gunshots

I was outside, reading.

At one point, I reached a page about gunshots, how some were heard but went unreported.

I wouldn't report a gunshot, either, I thought, considering how many there are around here, from target practice and the like.

Immediately following this thought, a gunshot rang out from nearby -- the first in days, when it had previously been silent. I gave pause, smiling, and made no report.

But this incident wasn't finished, for not a minute later, it happened again: two paragraphs down, precisely when I read "the sound of gunfire," a second shot sounded, coinciding in perfect sync. I couldn't have timed the two events better had I a gun rigged to a button.

Those were the first two gunshots I'd heard that day, and the only until later on, when I was past the book's mention of gunshots.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

'The End of Jack Cruz': A Play

My post-apocalyptic horror novel, The End of Jack Cruz, has been adapted to a play by David L. Williams, now available from Montag Press!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

10/25/14: 73

This afternoon, it was numbers again.

Usually the "coincidences" come as events or themes, or obsessively recurrent objects; others, however, it's repeat numbers, cropping up in the darnedest of places and in the darnedest of ways. And then there's a third type, which combines the two into something that could only be described as magical.

This afternoon's incident was one of the latter, and indeed, magical it felt.

It started with a flurry of 73's. I was out, driving around to do errands, when, out of the blue, 73 was everywhere I looked. Signs, prices,  odometer readout. On the license plates of passing cars (many of these pulling in front of me, or doing something else to conspicuously enter my line of vision -- inconsistent with being subconsciously sought out by me, in any case). A variation was 37, appearing equally (which didn't surprise me, since reversals are a regular pattern in these incidents). Within the space of ten minutes of driving across town, I was privy to no less than a dozen 73's/37's, perhaps more (I'd lost track).

But that was just over the drive to the store.

Only at the market did things really get notable enough to inspire this blog post. However unlikely the downpour of repetitions I saw on the way there, I didn't pay too much attention, because coincidences sometimes really are just coincidences, and the incident thus far just lacked the precision to wow me enough to write something down (plus, those just happen so often). However, once I parked at the market and the 73/37 sightings kept up, my opinion started to change. First, when I grabbed my change from my truck's holder, it was exactly 37 cents. Then, in the store, the number kept flying at me: UPC codes, serving sizes of foods I checked, price tags, numbers overheard on a cellphone conversation. I happened past the deli freezer and saw its thermometer at 37.5 degrees. Until then, I'd been writing off the incident as selective perception. But this was just too many repetitions, in too many diverse and unlikely places, to reasonably attribute to that old trickster of the eyes, nor most other cognitive explanations.

I knew then that I'd have to make a log entry, noting the improbable series. At that point, though, it still wasn't compelling enough for a blog post.

That point was reached only at the checkout, which rang up as [drumroll] exactly 73 cents. But wait, think about that figure a minute, because you must realize: I had a basketful of groceries. How could one possibly check out for so little money, ever (and that was with tax, mind you)? Two things. First, I had $10 in rewards points stored up this visit, and when I used them it covered most of the cost of my stuff. Then, second, it just so happened that the market had a blowout-special day where literally everything was 20% off, store-wide. But, to really see the complexity of having my order be precisely 73 cents, we must break down the logistics here a bit further, to the prices of the individual items. There were four separate ones, for one thing, all different prices; and then, additionally, there were vagaries in these prices. There was the oddball 1.08lb lamb liver that cost $6.23 or some uncommon amount of change, same for some bagged coffee and a by-weight vegetable, and then the last item was on sale by percentage and so had a similarly irregular price.

The point is, it was really damn unlikely to have hit exactly 73 cents, in more ways than one. Were I to have consciously tried to assemble such an order, I would've been hard pressed, and that was assuming that the store contained any such combination of goods (it's not too big a store, as it were).

Yet I not only hit this improbable number (perhaps my record low for a grocery order), but did so after a blatant string of sightings of just that number.

From the moment I was quoted that total, I knew a blog post lay in my future. And that was before I received the receipt, which placed my checkout time at exactly 4:37 PM.

(As soon as I left the market, I stopped seeing the number, even when I went actively looking for it.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

'Paranormal Horror Two' Anthology Release

Find my dark short story, "The Lunar Cycle," in Paranormal Horror Two, a new anthology from Simone Press.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More belated publication: Dark Moon Digest

Find my horror short, "Not A Circus," in Issue #25 of Dark Moon Digest. (Better late than never ...)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Belated Publication Announcement: The Subtopian

Find my grotesquely bizarre satire story, "The Game," in the March 2013 issue of The Subtopian, available for free online!

Friday, August 29, 2014

8/29/14 - Zombies Galore

Find my whimsical zombie story, "Cinnamon Road," in Zombies Galore, a fresh new anthology from KnightWatch Press!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

8-28-14 - The Literary Hatchet

Find my dark short story, "The Hillside," in Issue #9 of The Literary Hatchet, available for free online!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Anti-Soapbox: Collected Essays

Free eBook from Aaron Garrison: The Anti-Soapbox: Collected Essays

The typical soapbox comes with strings attached: an agenda to be pushed, an ego to be stroked, a donation box to be filled. This book, on the other hand, attempts to fulfill the soapbox’s original ideal, as a fount of goodwill and ideas. 
Aaron Garrison, author of Learn Yourself: A Manual for the Mind and Synchronicity: One Man’s Experience, has taken the soapbox, and the speech has begun. In these collected essays, Garrison explores the ideological, the sociological, and the philosophical, with a healthy spoonful of psychology for good measure. Written from the laymen’s no-nonsense perspective, The Anti-Soapbox takes a practical, real-world approach to some big issues, yet does so with a gentle touch, refraining from the bruising tone characteristic of soapbox oratory. 
So step right up, folks! On the anti-soapbox, there’s no shouting, accusation, or ecstatic gestures, just a good old-fashioned reality check.

Available as a free eBook from the following vendors:

Available for $.99:

Available in Print-on-Demand here:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

8/7/14 - An Emailed Link

Food intolerance is not pleasant. To be sure, even the most mundane foods contain dozens of substances, any number of which can have bizarre, sometimes hellish, effects on the body. Over time, I've learned which substances I'm intolerant to, and, unfortunately, the quantity of my intolerances is rather high, heavily restricting my diet. So it's only natural that I sometimes lose track of how much of which substance I'm eating or not eating -- or that I get so distracted with the predominant intolerances, I lose track of the lesser ones.

One of my lesser ones involves "oxalates," a substance found variably in vegetables. And, after a long time without an oxalate-related upset, it was only natural I forget about the prickly-sounding stuff.

You see where I'm going with this, of course, so I'll just cut to the chase: over the last few days, I overloaded on oxalates. As it were, chance saw my diet altering in just such a way that I ended up eating several high-oxalate foods in rotation. Additionally, I was taking a high-oxalate supplement at the same time. And there you have it: oxalate overload, introducing a wide range of really nasty symptoms. But, thankfully, I was keen to it all. After going over my food journal, and some self-analysis, I tracked down the culprit and then made the necessary corrections to my diet. Thus began The Wait, for my overburdened body to rid itself of the flood of oxalates, and for the agony to lift -- but that's a whole other story.

In any case, it was just yesterday that I got to the bottom of the whole mess and stopped eating the high-oxalate foodstuffs.

Then, this morning, not even a day later, I received an email from a friend. The email, bearing the subject line "Quick email," was indeed very short, just a couple sentences, but I found it rather interesting. As it were, the email's purpose was to send me a link to a health seminar my friend had learned of, entitled "The Oxalate Reduction Diet: Triumph Over Brain-Fog, Fatigue & Chronic Pain."

My friend did not know of my oxalate intolerance. In fact, no one did (not very good conversation fodder, food intolerance). Yet, from out of the blue, she emailed me that link, indicating the precise food intolerance I'd been battling, within a day of my making the connection. And is it surprising that the primary symptoms I was experiencing were crippling brain fog, fatigue, and pain?

And, the clincher (if this incident really needs a clincher): the seminar in question was not local for me, and I have neither the time nor the desire nor the spare gas money nor the energy to drive out-of-state to view it. My friend knew these things ... yet she still took the time to email me a link to something I would in all likelihood never attend. Had she acted logically and not sent me the link, there would've been no synchronicity for me to be blogging about.

How ironic.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

7/21/14 - Sweet Premonition

I was on the job, cutting grass at an apartment building. As I passed the property's parking lot, a tenant appeared. She waved. I waved.

Upon waving at this person, I was struck with the most vivid, yet obscure, of thoughts: candy and a thank-you note.

I saw it distinctly in my mind's eye, the type of sentimental gift that one might give their mailman at Christmas. Likewise, I had the thought that that tenant I'd waved at would give me one of these, though this was somewhat illogical, for I'd never, in two decades of cutting grass, received such a gift (nor expected or desired one, since it's not customary to give them to lawn-care workers, as far as I know).

And then it happened, just as I'd foreseen.

Several minutes later, when I finished cutting grass and returned to my truck, I was stopped by something on my toolbox: a small, sachet-like bag filled with fun-size candy bars. The bag also had a note, thanking me for cutting the lawn. The bag was left anonymously, in my absence, so I can't say it was from the tenant I'd waved at; but, really, it doesn't change things either way: I'd thought, for the first time, of receiving such a thank-you gift, just minutes before I received one, also for the first time.

Was it a simple synchronistic recurrence like those I've detailed, now with a theme of "sentimental candy thank-you gift"? Or, was this a classical case of a precognitive premonition? Or, alternately, did my thought cause it to happen, acting as some minute but effective force to trigger the receipt of my first ever thank-you candy? There's also the scenario of thought transference: did I "read" the tenant's intention to gift me some thank-you candy, in the brief yet mildly personal contact we had when waving at one another?

Then again, perhaps it was just a very unlikely coincidence. My life is highly coincidental, as it were.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Thanks, Guys - I Forgive You

This post is an oddball. It has nothing to do with writing, or even my tangential reports of synchronicity. Instead, the following post is a hodgepodge: part confessional, part essay, part existential reflection. It could, I suppose, also be considered a transmutation of sorts, being my attempt to extract something good from an ugly experience.

So, if you don't want to read something you might find entirely irrelevant and uninteresting, please stop now. Otherwise, here goes:
Dear Dazed Gentleman at the Goodwill store this afternoon, 
I forgive you for cutting in front of me in the checkout line, even though I'd been plainly standing there for several minutes beforehand. Instead of taking offense, I gave you the benefit of a doubt that you just hadn't noticed me, and politely informed you that I had preceded you in line. Also, I would like to thank you, for by blatantly cutting in front of me in this manner, you gave me the chance to react with patience and consideration. See, I consider these to be valuable skills, and through my interaction with you, I was able to exercise them and, thus, gain confidence in my ability. After all, it's one thing to think yourself patient and considerate, but it's quite another to actually practice those things, and unexpectedly, no less, in a crowded public place and when I wasn't feeling well to begin with. I consider that part a bonus, for if you can show kindness in a long line of impatient people while nauseous and with a splitting headache, then you can show it anytime, I think. 
Likewise, I forgive you, sir, for cutting in front of me a second time. When you stepped back out of line to allow me to go forward, I saw how your wife (I'm assuming she was your wife) instructed you to return to the line, even though she'd just witnessed my quiet defense of my place. I saw in your eyes how dazed you were, and even though you could obviously understand me and your actions, I know how it can feel to be pulled in two directions at once. And, once again, your cutting back in front of me offered me another chance to show patience and consideration in the face of disrespect -- and now when I was surprised. After asserting myself and my place in line, I certainly didn't expect you to jump right back in, that's for sure. But I think I did a pretty good job of reacting well and continuing to show you compassion, altogether avoiding a scene. 
Dear Dazed Gentleman's Assumed Wife, 
I forgive you, also, for directing your dazed husband right back in front of me after I'd asked him not to. I could see in your body language that you too were not thinking clearly, though perhaps not in the same fashion as your husband. When you disrespected me so, and in full view of myself, just feet away, it felt like a slap in the face, amplified somewhat due to how sick I was feeling; but, of course, you didn't know that. 
And, of course, I should thank you, too. As with everything else in this bizarre and awkward encounter, your disregard gave me the chance to employ my principles in a real-life situation -- and a rather exceptional situation at that. Any other day, when the line wasn't so long or I didn't feel so bad, your behavior might've only been trying rather than potentially upsetting -- but, in any case, I managed to show you the same patient compassion that I did your husband, without wavering in the least. See, it's been a study of mine, to show compassion and understanding while still asserting my rights when violated, and I know now I can perform in this capacity, thanks to you and your husband. I can't say I understand what you were thinking, acting this way, but I suppose that doesn't really matter at this point. 
Dear Angry Gentleman Who Confronted Me Outside The Store, 
I forgive you, as well, for accusing me of disrespecting the dazed couple in the store. When you first stopped me outside, after I'd made my purchase, my initial thought was that you were a relative of the dazed couple, come to apologize for their behavior and, perhaps, commend me on my patient response (I must admit: I surprised even myself with the calmness of my requests not to cut in front of me). So, when you gave me a hard stare and informed me that you would "stomp my ass" if you ever caught me "acting that way" again, I was surprised anew. 
I forgive you because, as I can see now, you probably possess a skewed sense of respect -- a widespread condition, in my experience. For you, respecting one's elders equates to ignoring your own rights and their violation, rather than any sort of genuine, mutual consideration. All you saw, I think, is me asserting myself and refusing to show favor to a dazed elderly couple. (I suppose I should've allowed the man to steal my wallet, too, while I'm on the slippery slope of ignoring violation.) Thus, in your eyes, everything I said and did was distorted, so that however respectfully I defended my place in line, I was "treating them like shit." Also, I forgive you for disallowing me to explain my actions (that it was the principle of the situation, me needing to assert my rights regardless of who is violating them, having nothing at all to do with waiting an extra few minutes in line), instead repeating your threats of violence and then walking away. I can understand wanting the last word, after all; it makes you appear right. 
And, at last, I would like to thank you, too, for you added a truly unforeseen climax to this experience -- the cherry on the sundae, so to speak. Whereas the dazed couple had given me the chance to react well despite offense and surprise, your confronting me pushed the envelope, allowing me to show compassion under threat of violence. I confess: a part of me wanted to blow up at you, since, after my blatant mistreatment in the store, you added insult to injury, in a specific way that felt especially bad. But, once again, this only gave me the chance to resist falling prey to an emotional reaction that would only make things worse -- which, I think even you would agree, I achieved, maintaining composure and complete respect for you, in the heat of the moment. In fact, it took me all of seconds afterward to both forgive and thank you for this experience, even as the stain of it lingered over me, feeling like a kind of psychic rape. Once more, I don't think you knew what you were inflicting on me, so I can't really fault you for it. Could a newborn be faulted for crying?
There, that's all.

A small, romantic part of me entertains a fantasy: that the actual actors in this strange drama will somehow discover this blog and read of my forgiveness and gratitude (which was fully sincere, mind you), against all logic and odds and common sense. Hey, that's about as likely as any of the synchronistic "coincidences" I've cataloged in other posts. If nothing else, I got to purge some of the experience's unsettling afterglow, and provide my reader with a glimpse into the heads of some very confused people -- or, do you feel I'm the confused person, standing up for myself instead of allowing some dazed old folks to cut in front of me in line ...? Such is the eternal divide between our individual realities, I suppose, where "po-tay-toe" will forever oppose "po-tah-toe."

Thursday, July 3, 2014

7/3/14 - A Lesson in Expectation (Disguised as a Lesson in Intuition)

Today, I received a lesson in expectation, wrapped in a lesson in intuition. Before I go into it, however, I must first relate a previous experience.

A couple years ago, I was initiated into the subtle-but-powerful force known as intuition, and how it could serve me in a practical sense. I was parallel parked alongside a narrow downtown road, and after checking my mirrors, I went to open my door to get out. However, I stopped before doing so, frozen by a distinct urge to keep the door closed. There was nothing logical to this feeling -- I had, after all, checked my mirrors and judged it safe to exit the vehicle -- yet it was oddly coherent, as well as firm in its demand that I keep my door shut. So I obeyed, without question, feeling as if I'd been shouted at.

A split second later, while I remained stunned in my driver's seat, a bicyclist blew past on my left, going as fast as a car (I was parked at the bottom of an incline). As it were, the man had been in my mirrors' blind spot, forced alongside the parked cars due to the narrow road. For this same reason, I found my odd, illogical urge all the more notable, since the same blind spot would've kept me from seeing the potential danger even subconsciously. Had I opened the car door when I'd originally gone for it, the man would've face-planted it, without a chance to swerve, such was the timing.

Ever since that day, I've learned to suspend my normal, rationalist thinking whenever an intuitive urge comes knocking. However, as I've already said, today's experience was a lesson in expectation, not intuition.

That said, it all started with an intuition.

My miraculous non-accident with the bicyclist would be the first time I consciously realized the mysterious urges I've labeled intuition -- or, alternately, a "Compelling," as I've come to call them. As it were, I would encounter these Compellings again and again in the time thereafter, as to reliably recognize them and, eventually, obey them unquestioningly. Say what you will about my decision to trust these feelings, but this post isn't a review of the evidence for and against the phenomenon. Instead, I'll just say that, after my brush with the bicyclist (and several equally consequential sequels, including a recent one which spared me a head-on collision), I listen when a Compelling announces itself in my thoughts.

Such was the case earlier this week, when I ordered a first aid kit online.

It was late. I was tired. I was seconds from shutting down my PC -- when I saw an ad for a first aid kit. At once, my fatigue lifted and I took notice: I had to get one of these kits. The idea was entirely illogical, and entirely spontaneous, but, like the edict to keep my car door shut that one day, it was entirely intransigent, brooking no argument. I was getting one of these kits, that feeling said, no doubt about it -- a classic Compelling, of the kind I've come to know well.

Just a year ago, I might've hesitated. By this time, however, I was far beyond question. I ordered the first aid kit literally without a second thought, completing the transaction in less than a minute.

Now, fast-forward to today, when I received my intuitive lesson in expectation.

I was about to leave the house for the afternoon -- in my truck, key in ignition -- when a new Compelling befell me: check the mail. Even after everything, I almost ignored this one, since, as best I could recall, I had nothing coming in the mail (I'd entirely forgotten about the first aid kit by this time, as we do). But, of course, I ended up going with it, sparing the whole ten seconds to get out of my truck and open the nearby mailbox. Sure enough, a package was inside. It took me a moment to remember the first aid kit, but even when I did, it was an anticlimax: Okay, so the first aid kit I don't need has arrived. I got back in my truck.

Then came a second Compelling, now to unwrap the first aid kit.

Again I obeyed -- I would've used the kit to give first aid to a tree stump, had I been Compelled to do so. Afterward, I sat with the opened kit for a moment, studying the cheap Chinese-made packaging as I waited for a third Compelling. But no such Compelling came, so I finally started up my truck and left my driveway, the denuded first aid kit in my passenger's seat. Down the road, however, I got to thinking: this was all leading up to something, I was sure. Being no stranger to these Compellings, I knew from past experience that there was a good, logical reason for all this, as always. Never once had I been Compelled for naught, especially when a succession led me in a certain direction. I was going to need this first aid kit, I knew -- somehow, in some way, and in my truck of all places, I was going to need this dinky little $6.99 (shipped!) first aid kit.

My first thought: an accident.

I knew it at once: I was going to be in an accident, or was, perhaps, going to come across one that had already happened. It all made perfect sense, and I can't fault my logic, really: I'd been Compelled into having a first aid kit in my truck, opened and ready, and I'd never once been Compelled wrongly, so it was only natural to reason that some fashion of accident lay in my immediate future. After all, what else could it have been? First aid kit + truck + holiday-weekend drivers = accident. I didn't make assumptions of doom about this inevitable accident, at least; I'll give myself that. I stayed calm and cool-headed, but just went on alert for an accident of some kind, whatever that might entail. A good student of intuition, I was sure a new lesson was afoot, to further bolster my confidence in the Compellings by way of my being outfitted with the unlikely first aid kit.

That is to say, I was expecting an accident and its attendant exercise in intuition, since it was the only foreseeable outcome within my range of possibilities. And therein lies the heart of my lesson: that expectations can limit and restrict one's thinking, as to obscure possibilities outside of one's awareness (or imagination).

So, there I was, driving hyper-defensively, perpetually scanning for smoke or blood or crumpled car hoods. However, I arrived at my destination, a local gym, without incident, the first aid kit unused. I'll admit: I experienced a moment of doubt. Even after my years-long romance with my intuitive Compellings, and their consistent pay-offs, I still had the thought that, this time at least, I'd been mistaken. Maybe it was all in my head; maybe I'd allowed my illogical subconscious to lead me astray, buying up a first aid kit out of some hidden fear. Nobody is perfect, after all, so why couldn't I have been wrong to go along with my illogical urges? Everyone should be forgiven a mistake or two; I believe there should be vouchers issued for this, at birth.

As I was thinking these things, I was interrupted by yet another Compelling: now to open the first aid kit itself, and explore it.

Despite my self-doubt, I obeyed this one, also -- maybe slower, and a touch begrudgingly, but I obeyed. As I unzipped the flimsy nylon case, I distracted myself with the fact that it wasn't all such a bad idea, really, having a first aid kit in my truck -- because, after all, what if I did come upon an accident and needed to administer to an injured driver? And, likewise, it was probably best that I familiarize myself with the kit's contents, as this last Compelling had commanded. If nothing else, these ideas provided me some consolation, lending a bit of logic to my indiscretion.

And that's when I saw the wound on my hand.

I used my left hand to open the kit's flip-style flap, and in doing so, I upturned my palm, which had an open wound on it. I'd had a splinter there the day before, and it had been uncooperative enough to result in a bite-sized wound upon being coaxed out with tweezers. Still, nothing much to worry about, except for its location: being smack-dab on my palm, it was a prime target for contact with germ-ridden public surfaces. For this reason, I'd made it a point to put a Band-Aid on it before leaving the house, especially since I was going for a workout at the gym, to use public equipment handled by a great many unclean hands. But, of course, I forgot the Band-Aid, just like I forgot ordering the first aid kit.

Need a Band-Aid, I thought at once, still sitting in the gym's parking lot. Without protection of some kind, there was no way I was using the weight machines, since it would be asking for infection. I might as well have gone in there and licked the handles.

Upon having this thought, I realized that I held in my lap an open first aid kit. And there, just beneath the wounded left hand with which I'd opened the flap, was the kit's collection of small adhesive bandages. Being in the super-cheap kit, they were knockoffs rather than proper Band-Aids, but the one I put on my hand proved of resilient quality, withstanding the stresses incurred during my workout.

In my oversight and narrow thinking, never would I have expected needing a first aid kit in this manner. But then again, isn't this how we learn?

(A postscript: it was an interesting chance occurrence that led me to the first aid kit in the first place. I was browsing my email, and when I went to click on one, my mouse glitched and the cursor jumped, so that I instead clicked the previous sequential email -- a piece of spam mail which was chiefly advertising its ultra-cheap, $6.99-including-shipping first aid kits. My mouse does this every now and then, stuttering about erratically, God knows why. Had this chance glitch not occurred when it did, making me accidentally open a spam mailing that I never would've touched normally, I'd have never seen the kit that bore me my Band-Aid precisely at my moment of need ...)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

7/1/14 - 'The Roots of Coincidence,' Part Two

Just days ago, I composed a long-winded entry on a synchronicity involving The Roots of Coincidence, a book about synchronicity. Well, apparently I spoke too soon, for a sequel incident occurred today.

It started last week, when I read The Roots of Coincidence. Involving quantum physics to some extent, the book briefly outlined Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, that koan-like concept which states that there exists a relationship between subject and object, so that, basically, the observer affects the observed (and vice-versa). Though I was not unmet by the Uncertainty Principle, I did have a minor revelation upon reading of it in The Roots of Coincidence: I drew a parallel between the Principle and human perception, for the first time. Because of the subjective nature of perception, no two people perceive the same object in the same way, so that, practically speaking, they are seeing two different objects, each in the respective mind's eye of the observer -- a perfect demonstration of Heisenberg's Principle, as it were. Perhaps this parallel isn't so mind-blowing to other folks, but for me, it struck me deeply, for it wedded a bizarre physics concept to real-life experience, placing it in living terms that I could understand. In any case, my little insight stuck with me, vividly so, the way any well-rounded understanding will adhere to the mind and gel into everyday thinking.

Then, just days later, the whole thing recurred.

The recurrence came knocking today, while I was reading another book: The Petting Zoo by Jim Carroll, the next sequential book I read after The Roots of Coincidence. In one scene, two characters are discussing perception and empathy, and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle comes up in their dialogue -- synchronicity strikes! I found the incident somewhat notable: after going months (years?) without reading of the Uncertainty Principle, I read of it in two books, back to back -- books which, as it were, couldn't have been more different or random, one being a forty-year-old nonfiction head-scratcher about coincidence and synchronicity, and the other being a modern novel about an artist living in New York City. What are the chances that I would randomly pick these two wholly disparate books to read (one purchased online after I'd been putting it off for almost a year, the other an unfamiliar book bought for no logical reason from Goodwill a month prior), only to find them referencing the same physics concept? (And never mind that this fits the pattern established by dozens of prior incidents, where my choices of reading material seems to reflect each other in subject matter ...)

Unlikely? Yes. However, the recurrence of the Uncertainty Principle was only the first part of the incident. The second was a whole other ballgame.

The second part of the recurrence: not the Uncertainty Principle, but the comment, by one of the Petting Zoo characters,  that the Uncertainty Principle was just like human perception -- exactly what I'd thought when reading The Roots of Coincidence. Dig it: not only did the Uncertainty Principle recur between two different books randomly read by me, but the latter echoed, in the exact same context and similar wording, the minor revelation I'd had regarding the Principle and its parallels with human perception. If the chances of the Principle's original recurrence were somewhat low, I can't fathom the chances of my thoughts regarding the Principle recurring.

Now, I must wonder: is this a common comparison, perhaps well-known to academia? Is it routinely pointed out by professors to their students, that Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle can be understood in terms of human perception? Perhaps it is, and I'm just ignorant of it, so that it comes as a surprise for me to see that precise sentiment echoed in a book. But even were it common, even to the point of being cliche, what are the chances that I would see it recur in this manner, in a second, random book, days later, back-to-back with that which originally led me to make the comparison for the first time in my life ...?

As I've said many times before, I'm no mathematician. However, it seems to me the chances of this two-tier incident would be astronomically low. The first, original recurrence seems about as likely as having a bag of money fall from the sky and land at your feet; with the second part taken into consideration, however, it seems about as likely as the bag of sky-money having a note inside with your name on it.

Regardless, the incident succeeded in making me laugh.

Friday, June 27, 2014

6/27/14 - 'The Roots of Coincidence' (aka Double Whammy)

This post, while containing a synchronicity, and concerning a book about synchronicity, is not a synchronicity post. Rather, it's about a certain type of vindication.

It all started with a book.

The original book, as it were, was of my own creation: Synchronicity: One Man's Experience, which I wrote in the fall of 2013. As the title suggests, the book recounts my experiences with the phenomenon known, more or less accurately, as "synchronicity." Ironically, at the time I wrote this book, I was largely unread on the subject; in fact, the only formal reading I'd done was Carl Jung's monumental paper on the phenomenon. I did, however, have several synchronicity books noted for further reading, if and when I got the inkling to research others' experiences.

One such book was The Roots of Coincidence, by Arthur Koestler.

I don't remember where I first read of Koestler or his book, or why it struck me enough to take interest. Somehow, though, I ended up with a bookmark for its Amazon listing. Lazily, I ignored it for some time, and then, when I did finally follow up on the book, I found it to be far more expensive for my tastes (being an older book, out of print and without an eBook version, prices were inflated accordingly). From there, I checked eBay and Amazon from time to time, hoping to snag a reasonably priced copy, but time and again, no such cheap copies were to be had. I bid on an auction once, but lost out to someone with richer blood.

Thus, The Roots of Coincidence stayed a perpetual presence in my file of bookmarked titles -- until last week.

One night, in a moment of idleness, I again noticed the Roots of Coincidence bookmark, and its stubborn refusal to disappear from my list of must-read books. So I made another halfhearted browse -- and this time, lo and behold, turned up a low-priced copy on eBay. I snatched it up at once, then at last deleted the bookmark, feeling to be crossing off some difficult station from a bucket list. And it was after this, within two days, that the synchronicity occurred: I came across, in the unrelated book I was reading at the time, a quote from none other than Arthur Koestler. The quote, which was placed randomly in the book (to correspond with a loosely relevant story), involved something called "holons," something I'd never heard of before in my life.

I read the Koestler quote just two days after ordering The Roots of Coincidence, after putting it off for nearly a year. Funny, I thought, sniffing the synchronicity to come. I got fifty bucks that The Roots of Coincidence will Just Happen to be the source of Koestler's quote regarding holons.

Sure enough, The Roots of Coincidence does indeed contain the quote I'd read in the wholly random and unconnected book I'd Just Happened to be reading two days after placing the order (that book, a collection of travel stories I'd checked out randomly from the library, bore no overt mention of Koestler or holons on its cover or blurb, the quote occupying only a small space 400 pages in). And yes, I do count this as a solid incidence of synchronicity, considering that I ordered the Roots book just two days before reading of its "holons" for the first time in my life; and, furthermore, I consider this a rather notable synchronicity, due to the fact that it fits perfectly the pattern established by the dozens upon dozens of similar incidents I've experienced. And yes, I rather enjoyed the irony added by the book's subject matter, for The Roots of Coincidence is, after all, about synchronicity (though, this is not the first time I've experienced synchronicities surrounding a book about synchronicities, nor is it the second time). However, as interesting and enjoyable as this incident is, it is not what inspired me to write this post.

Instead, I was moved to blog about this experience due to what Koestler's book contained.

That is to say, The Roots of Coincidence reinforced my own experiences, and in a somewhat objective, verifiable fashion. More or less, Koestler echoed what I wrote in Synchronicity: One Man's Experience. Not only was there a general repetition of the same underlying patterns and phenomena I experienced and then described, but Koestler and his references also reached many of the same conclusions as in my book, at times with the same wording and models of action -- all of which I was unaware of until reading The Roots of Coincidence over the last couple days, only after I'd written my account and speculated on what it might mean. Sometimes, there is no better confirmation than seeing one's thoughts and experiences corroborated by a complete stranger, decades in the past (which goes double for subjects as speculative, mysterious, and empirical as synchronicity).

And it was this, in the end, that I enjoyed most about my purchase of The Roots of Coincidence: not the highly improbable "coincidence" it triggered, nor the laughter incurred by same, but instead the simple-but-rare vindication I experienced upon seeing the essence of my experiences recounted in a forty-year-old book I'd read only after the fact. That feeling can't be bought, or it would cost a fortune if it could.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

6/21/14 - The Divide

New suspense novel from A.A. Garrison: The Divide

Our world is filled with triangles. Structural triangles. Love triangles. That curiously understated musical instrument. Also, there are triangles of destruction, those which lock their points in a dangerous unity. 
Such is the triangle formed by the men of Boyd Street, nestled in the idyllic Appalachian mountains. 
Daniel Black is sick, out of work, and desperate. Malcolm Deal faces old age and its burdens, and an all-consuming need. Marky Joiner courts a deadly obsession with his next-door neighbor. Appearances aside, the men's struggles share a common thread: all stem from a divided mind, and the mental blind spots which accompany it. 
This is Boyd Street's fateful triangle, unsuspected in its quiet corner of the world. Only one man will emerge from it alive.

Get samples, read reviews, and buy the eBook at the following vendors:

Buy the Print-on-Demand version here:

Monday, June 2, 2014

In case you were wondering ...

... here's the four-in-one that is Everything, described four ways.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

5/27/14 - Behind Closed Doors

Find my short horror story, "Freedom," in Behind Closed Doors, a new anthology of dark tales from Thirteen O' Clock Press.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

5/11/14 - You Asked For It, You Got It ...

So it is with Toyota. So it was with the bug.

The bug greeted me at lunchtime the other day, when I went to the cupboard for a bowl. A black, beetle-ish specimen, the bug was trapped hopelessly at the bottom of the deep bowl, and had been for some time, going by the profusion of tiny feces keeping it company.

I took the little prisoner outside, to be released to the Promised Land of my back deck. As I did so, however, I was nagged by a thought: What is this bug called? I wanted to know, with an undue urgency, all through my encounter with the bug; but, having no way of knowing, I soon forgot about it. And with that, I promptly returned to lunch (using a second, clean bowl).

The answer to my question would arrive the next day.

I keep a word ledger, a book in which I write down notable words and then, later, look them up and record their definitions. Every month or so, I review some of my current word ledger, to reinforce the new words and expand my vocabulary. I say "every month or so," but my reviewing of the ledger is rather erratic and random; usually, it only happens when I have some time to kill, or finish reading a proper book and don't yet want to start a new one.

The day after the mystery bug, I finished reading a proper book and didn't yet want to start a new one. I was overdue for a ledger review, so I went to it.

On one of the first pages of words I reviewed, one jumped out at me: "cockchafer." Why, I didn't know; but it stuck with me, looping through my mind, along with its definition: "any of certain scarab beetles ..."

Scarab beetles. That bug from the bowl certainly did have a scarab-like appearance.

Later that day, I did a Google image search for cockchafer pictures, and sure enough, the black cockchafer was a dead ringer for the bug that had been so conspicuously waiting for me in the bowl the day before.

The bug that I'd had the vague-but-distinct yen to know the name of.

What a coincidence: less than a day after "asking" this question, I seemed to have received an "answer," through a chance string of circumstances and events.

(Anyone who's read my book on the subject of synchronicity will detect my subtle sarcasm in this last statement, since the cockchafer revelation was just the latest in a lineage of such "question-and-answer" incidents, all of which conform to an explicitly consistent pattern.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

4/27/14 - Public Service Announcement

This isn't a synchronicity report. Nor is it to promote new writing. Rather, it's a public service announcement: that the phenomenon known as synchronicity is very, very real.

Not that I wasn't already convinced of this (many times over). It's just that, today, I read a book, There Are No Accidents by Robert H. Hopcke, and it independently reinforced everything I've experienced repeatedly for years now, in no uncertain terms. But, again, this post isn't a synchronicity report, despite the interesting and "random" means by which I came to read Mr. Hopcke's book. Instead, I would just like to remark on the stark similarity between it and the book I myself wrote on the subject (Synchronicity: One Man's Experience). The two describe explicitly similar phenomena, both in nature and in pattern, and even follow similar lines of reasoning in regards to what it all means. And, of course, I wrote my book last year, before ever learning that There Are No Accidents existed.

But that's all just coincidence, right? Because experts have agreed that such fantastic phenomena as synchronicity cannot exist.

Likewise, it was just a coincidence that the two books would cite not only remarkably similar phenomena, but near-exact incidents. The first chapter of my book details how, starting some years ago, I began repeatedly seeing the number 1111 and its variants, eventually in fascinating and highly unlikely ways (and numbering in the hundreds, if not thousands). For me, a typical "sighting" would be Just Happening to glance at a clock at 11:11, with a more notable version of this involving complicated logistics (such as driving past an electronic sign at the precise moment it changed to 11:11, or being distracted by a "random" noise and having my attention drawn to an 11:11-displaying clock, etc). As I recounted in my book, the phenomenon matured with my mounting skepticism toward it, until I was encountering 1111 in configurations and frequencies that I couldn't reasonably write off as chance (such as discovering a document on my computer that was created on November 11th, 2011, at 11:11 PM, so that it's time stamp read 11/11/11 11:11 -- with my chance discovery of the document Just Happening to coincide with the peak of the repeat-number phenomenon). Also, there are fun, multidimensional ones such as this email snapshot. Now, I quote from a case report in There Are No Accidents, written years ago by someone I've never met or heard of:
"'The number 11 began to surface after I began dating my ex-girlfriend in late 1992. It was then that she said to me, "I always look at the clock at 11:11" ... I immediately noticed, however, that this number didn't go away with our breakup. There were just too many strange and random encounters with 11 for me to simply label them coincidence ... I once came home in the evening and sat down in front of the TV, only to glance at the VCR which was recording a program, and noticed that it displayed 11:11 P.M. on channel 11 with the recording time being 11:11:11.'"
But, I repeat: all coincidence. Just like there are, in fact, accidents, apparently there are coincidences, too, including really, really, really-really-really unlikely ones.

Okay, enough with the sarcasm. The point of this post: yes, synchronicity is real, and I have been systematically stripped of any luxury of denying that fact.

End public service announcement.

Monday, April 7, 2014

4/7/14 - Repeat Numbers, Again

I am sought out by certain numbers, it seems, often in novel ways that leave me equal parts tickled and intrigued. I've written of this phenomenon both on this blog and in a book I wrote on the subject, Synchronicity: One Man's Experience. Today, however, I experienced a particularly extraordinary number-repetition.

It started yesterday, with my trusty timer.

The timer is nothing special, just a standard digital hour-timer, of the kind used to time pot roasts and casseroles the world over. But I've developed a special affinity for my timer, for no particular reason, the way we do anything we use regularly. What do I use this timer for? That's complicated, and immaterial to the subject at hand, so I'll just say that I use it daily. In this regard, yesterday was no different, except for one thing: once my timer went off, I didn't turn off its alarm. I was out of the room at the time, and I'd remembered the timed event on my own, so I just let the timer beep. I knew it would stop after a minute, and it did, so that I totally forgot about the timer -- until today, when I went to use it anew.

Of all the times I've employed my timer, this was the first I'd neglected to reset it afterward. Thankfully, it didn't mind.

One interesting thing about my timer: for some reason, it counts in reverse after going off, and will continue to do so until reset. Well, since I hadn't reset my timer, it continued counting all through yesterday afternoon and last night, as if patiently awaiting my return. As it so happened, the timer waited in this fashion for exactly seventeen hours, thirty-seven minutes, and thirty-seven seconds, hitting that thirty-seventh second at the precise moment I picked it up and looked at it this afternoon. Then, the digital display read 17:37:37.

One of the numbers I repeatedly see is 37, 1137, and variants of these (73, 137, 173, etc). In fact, in the last few weeks, these have been the most prominent repetitions, repeatedly coming to me in ways which defy reasonable chance, and psychological explanations such as selective perception and subconscious fixation.

Not only did I just happened to pick up the timer when it displayed two of "my" numbers by way of the hour- and minute columns, but I picked it up to the second for it to display a third. Quite a trick.

I stood holding the timer for some time after, searching for any possible explanation. But I came up empty. I hadn't so much as gone near that timer all day, so there was no way I could've known what it had ticked to; until I went in the room and fetched the timer, I'd been at the other side of the house, and the timer was turned away from me as I approached.

It bears mentioning that, after seeing 37 and its variants so much lately (and in ways and configurations nearly as unlikely and striking as that of the timer), I had become somewhat jaded to the repetitions, so that they'd lost their wow and I'd begun ignoring them, for all the mystery they represented -- a sensory-overload of sorts. This is significant because it has happened several times in the past, and every time it does, the numbers will begin repeating in different, more coherent ways, as to regain my attention -- and, usually, to inspire more blog posts such as this one. So, not only was the event significantly unlikely in itself, but it conformed with a pattern repeated again and again over years of fundamentally identical incidents.

Seeing such a pattern, a detective would say that the incident "fits the profile." I'm inclined to agree.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

3/29/14 - The Stray Branch

Find my literary short-short, "Our Heroes Suck," in the latest issue of The Stray Branch, hot off the "presses."


Monday, March 24, 2014

3/24 - Surprise, Surprise

A couple days ago, I experienced a classic "recurrence," which is how I refer to your typical, run-of-the-mill incidence of synchronicity. However, I didn't pay much attention to this particular recurrence, because the time gap between the two recurring events was nearly a week, instead of hours or days (or seconds, or simultaneous, like so many are).

My log entry for the recurrence in question:

A minor recurrence, quite possibly a coincidence. Sometime in the last week, I can't remember just when or where (it was in a book), I read a traveling tip on how you should tag your luggage with something distinctive so you can pick it out from a baggage carousel, etc. Then today, I got an unexpected package in the mail from a friend, in which was a bright, florid luggage tag, with a note saying that it helps to have distinctive tagging on your bags so you can pick them out, etc. Definitely a recurrence, but the time window is large enough that it isn't too notable."

An interesting event, certainly, considering the express exactness of the theme of "distinguish your luggage so it can be recognized," right down the same terms and wording. But it's not outside the realm of chance to encounter it twice within a week, because, for all the valid synchronicities out there, chance coincidence does, in fact, occur.

When I shared this recurrence with my friend, however, her response lent a new dimension to the incident:
"Since I wrote the letter and put the package together a week prior to mailing it, I would guess it was more of a synchronicity [than] you think."
I laughed.

Monday, February 3, 2014

2/3 - Book Synchronicity 2.0

The "book" synchronicity. It never fails at grabbing my attention. Read a new, obscure word for the first time in my life, in some random book I bought months ago, and then read the same word in my next sequential book, also bought and read randomly.

I've detailed several of these on this blog, and experienced many, many more. But yesterday, the phenomenon came with a twist.

V.S. Naipaul and Indira Gandhi, two Indian folks of a certain fame. Not knowing India and its figures, I'd never heard of these people until I read of them in a book, In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India, which introduced me to both of them within the course of a day's reading. Then, approximately 12 hours later, I encountered these names again, in a separate, unrelated book -- pretty unlikely. When all variables were taken into consideration (including the fact that the recurrence fit the distinct pattern I'd seen established over several years), the incident appeared to defy any reasonable chances of happening.

A classic book synchronicity, right? Wrong.

See, the second book that I encountered the names in came to me in the most remarkable of ways, different than even the accidental-on-purpose fashion which usually characterizes these incidents. Rather than the names recurring in a book I read, they arrived in a book I hadn't read.

The book, a paperback copy of Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry, was given to me some years ago in a free box of books from a family member. For whatever reason, the book didn't interest me, and so it went on my shelf, where it would stay. I'd never opened this book, or so much as read its back cover. Maybe the cover image turned me off, I don't know; but the point is this: I had no idea what was in or on this copy of Such a Long Journey, nor did I have any plans to find out. The book was an ornamental fixture on one of my shelves, collecting dust.

So, when I needed a book to hide some money in, this one fit the bill.

Why was I hiding money in a book? I was putting together a "go bag," a backpack filled with clothes and other necessities, to be grabbed in the event of an emergency, whenever one might need to "go" in a hurry. One of the ingredients for a bag is some cash; another is a book, for something to do. So I put the two together, naturally. Went I went to choose a book from my bookshelf, my hand went, randomly, to Such a Long Journey. Recognizing it as one of those castoff books that I'd never read, I figured it was as good as any. So I put my emergency cash cleverly inside, then stuffed the book into my finished go bag.

Another ingredient of a good go bag: some food. This is what would instigate the synchronicity.

I regularly eat the food and water stored in my go bag, and immediately replace it, to keep it fresh. A couple weeks ago, I was overdue for this changing of the guard -- however, as it so happened, I didn't immediately eat the food. Either my menu wasn't friendly to the nuts and seeds in the go bag, or I was just too plain lazy to unpack the bag and dig out its food. Regardless, I didn't get around to it until yesterday -- the day after I read of V.S. Naipaul and Indira Gandhi for the first time in In Spite of the Gods.

When I unpacked my go bag, I had to take out my cash-filled copy of Such a Long Journey.

This time when I saw the book, it grabbed me. I don't know why: just as it had fallen flat and uninteresting on me years before, it struck me as interesting yesterday. So, as is natural when interested in a book, I turned it over and read its blurb -- which mentioned two Indian names, V.S. Naipaul and Indira Gandhi.

Had I read the book's blurb when I first got it, there would be no synchronicity. Had I read it two weeks ago, when the emergency food was overdue for replacement and before I read In Spite of the Gods, the synchronicity would be much less notable, since reading two new names, two weeks apart, could foreseeably be chance. But by "discovering" Such a Long Journey when I did, it recurred those two, specific, new names to me within a twelve-hour time frame, upgrading the unlikeliness to synchronicity levels.

Upon recognizing the names as those I'd been introduced to just a half-day before, I laughed out loud.

And that's not all: I got not only a new entry in my synchronicity log, but another book about India, to read when I finish In Spite of the Gods. I don't know enough about India to be familiar with two of its figures, but after reading these two books, perhaps that will change somewhat.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

2/1 - Free anthology!

From 2/1 to 2/5, the anthology Paranormal Horror, which includes my short story, "The Clearing," will be free on Amazon. Hurry!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

1/23/14 - The Phenomenon's Return

For anyone unfamiliar with this blog, I have experienced a regular stream of rather unlikely coincidences -- unlikely enough to be considered "synchronicities," and coherent and numerable enough to be written about. Recently, however, the phenomenon took a breather.

Then it returned.

It was January 20th it happened, after approximately ten days of silence. Within this period, I had become accustomed to "normal," logical, non-synchronistic life -- not so much to forget the phenomenon entirely, but long enough for it to fade against the backdrop of new life experiences and demands. Certainly, this wasn't the first such drop-off of "activity," for in the years since my becoming aware of the phenomenon, I've experienced several of these weeks-long subsides. Yet, when the first new synchronicity arrived, my reaction was stronger than it would've been otherwise, the way absence makes the heart grow fonder.

The synchronicities came in rapid succession, three of them, almost identical.

The first occurred while I was driving. I pulled up to an intersection, saw that it was a red light, and thought, distinctly, of how I wanted the green light. Immediately after my thought, the song I was listening to in my truck's CD player said "green light," with less than a second between the two. The sheer coincidence factor was enough that the recurrence would've been noticed in any case, with such perfectly "synchronistic" timing that I couldn't have coordinated it had I tried. But, considering that the coinciding occurrences fit seamlessly the pattern that's been established in my past experiences (recurring thoughts, events, or themes in near instant succession), I took special notice.

After the wow had worn off, I was quick to make a note. Another one for the file.

Then, just minutes later, it happened again: just as I thought "fan," I overheard someone say "fan." Again, this happened with a crisply distinct spontaneity which, despite being nearly impossible to plan, again fit precisely that snap-bang format I've come to know for this particular type of synchronicity. An interesting note is that the thought which preceded "fan" pertained to my seeing something which I thought was an electric fan but, on closer examination, proved to be the mechanical top of a paper shredder -- that is to say, something which bears absolutely no semblance to a fan. Yet, I thought this, just before a nearby person, unconnected to me, said "fan" aloud (and yes, my thought was before the person said fan -- just before, less than a second, but definitely before, thus ruling out some sort of subconscious suggestion for me to see the paper shredder as a fan).

My first note was joined by an addendum reading "fan."

Then, approximately a half-hour later, the third such synchronicity arose: this time my reading "thank you" precisely as someone behind me said "thank you." What I read was the swipe terminal at a grocery checkout, which printed "Approved - Thank You" just after I swiped my credit card -- which, coincidentally, occurred precisely as the cashier behind me said "thank you." This one, unlike the other two, is not as distinct and complicated -- and, thus, not as unlikely from a statistical perspective. However, it is lent some notability by the fact that it fit so perfectly that pattern previously established -- not just over my years of past experiences, numbering in the hundreds, but of just over the last hour. Feel one rain drop, and you might shrug it off; feel a dozen, and you'll prepare for a rain shower.

So there I was, right back in the whirlwind of dreamlike unreality inspired by such incidents, as if I'd never left.

Monday, January 20, 2014

1/20/14 - Accidental Literature: Stories

Accidental Literature: Stories - a collection of A.A. Garrison's literary forays.


In this collection: 19 short stories of a literary bent.

Variety defines these stories. From dark to light, humorous to dead serious, experimental to traditional, flash-length to novelette, these 19 selections from author A.A. Garrison fulfill a mixed spectrum of tastes and styles. No two are alike, and surprises abound.

Included in Accidental Literature:

  • A drug addict’s quirky pursuits (“Tomorrow”)
  • A beautiful young murderer asks, “Is anyone innocent?” (“Innocent”)
  • If a brutal dictator must have one thing, it’s the right anthem (“An Anthem for Chen”)
  • A fatal traffic accident as seen from multiple points of view (“Mirrors”)
  • A San Francisco quake brings gifts in strange and romantic wrappings (“Ketu Says Hi (Or, She Laughs at Earthquakes)”)
  • The hellish trials of a sick man awaiting healing (“The Waiting”)
  • A videotape containing a sinister crime against a child, and the question of what to do with it (“The Videotape”)
  • The world as seen through the kaleidoscopic eyes of a chronic alcoholic (“Alcoholism and Bad Sex”)

Plus 11 more literary tales, all executed in A.A. Garrison’s quietly loud fashion.

Be taken by these words. Be seduced. Be offended. Be wowed.

Buy the eBook, read sample stories, and get reviews at these vendors:

Buy the print version, via Print-on-Demand, here:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

1/15/14: What Is and What Could Be: Tales of Imagination

A new short story collection from A.A. Garrison: What Is and What Could Be: Tales of Imagination

Sometimes the best fiction defies all labels. That’s why these stories are called, simply, “tales of the imagination.”

In this collection of 15 diverse selections from author A.A. Garrison, the reader is introduced to a broad expanse of literary territory, ranging from sci-fi to crime to post-apocalyptic ruminations, including some outright weirdness and a no-apologies zombie romp.

Included in this slideshow of imagination:

  • One man’s disgusting, but lucrative, enterprise (“Bestseller”)
  • A young woman’s government-sponsored birth and its sinister mystery (“Immaculate Conception”)
  • When only a select few are saved from the end of the world, what about those left behind? (“Passed Over”)
  • A man who discovers endless pleasure, only to lose it and learn from the experience (“The Discipline Ball”)
  • A blind murder’s long, strange road to incarceration (“Windows to the Soul”)
  • A big, spinning wheel in the sky could only be an alien-controlled UFO, right? (“Wheel in the Sky”)
  • America’s downfall arriving not by fire or ice, but caffeine withdrawal (“Caffei-nation”)
  • The saga of a guardian angel disguised as an evil cat (“Lucky”)

And more! Comprising a full, novel-length read, this collection is guaranteed to satisfy most literary appetites. After all, isn’t all fiction about imagining what is and what could be?

Read sample chapters, get reviews, and buy the eBook from these vendors:

Buy the print version, via Print-on-Demand, here:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

1/7/14: The Long Short Story: Novellas

A collection of speculative novellas from A.A. Garrison: The Long Short Story: Novellas

Novella - [noh-vel-uh] - a fictional prose narrative that is longer and more complex than a short story

Some folks like short stories, others enjoy the deeper waters of a novel. But what about those times when a short story is too short and a proper novel too long?

Enter the novella, that literary stopgap.

Collected here are five such long-shorts, of a speculative bent:

  • “Deadheading with Max,” a quietly fantastic travel story
  • “Everything’s Connected,” an outrageous sci-fi slapstick romp
  • “Intangible,” a paranormal drama depicting the strangest of theft
  • “The Birth of Edenborough,” a post-apocalyptic romance
  • “The Dead Man’s Phone,” a lighthearted horror thriller

The Long Short Story – guaranteed to occupy that lengthy commute or trip to the park, when other fiction just wouldn’t sit right.

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