This October my latest horror novella will be released. It's about to hit the review process and will be available for pre-order sometime in September. In the meantime, I thought I would share with you the first chapter of the book. Hopefully, I can get some honest feedback about this first chapter. Let me know what you like, what you don't like, etc. Just remember, it's not edited yet so don't be too harsh. There's probably grammatical mistakes and spelling errors. Feel free to point them out, though. It will make editing somewhat easier for me. Below, you will find chapter one of my upcoming horror novella, Echoes of the Past:
She remembered the feeling of cold steel pressed firmly against her throat. She remembered the fear of losing everything she had ever loved or cared about. Her daughter, Tara, had flashed through her mind that night. Will he kill her next? She had thought. When her husband was done with his drunken rage, would he turn his attention to their young child? It had been the scariest thought in her mind, even while faced with certain death.
Of course, she hadn’t really believed he would kill her, not on purpose anyway. The knife to her throat had merely been a tactic of fear. But that did not mean he couldn’t accidentally slit her throat. Sasha had finally had enough that night. It had been the beginning of the end.
“Comfortable, sweetheart?” She called out to the backseat for her daughter, doing her best to ignore the memories that always seemed to invade her happiness. Tara told her she was but complained the trip was taking too long. Sasha laughed and said, “I know, honey, but we should be there very soon.”
“But why are we moving so far away?”
“You know why, sweetheart.”
“But I don’t want to leave my life behind.”
“Sometimes we need to do things we don’t want to do. Sometimes we have to.”
Tara stopped questioning her mother and returned to playing on the tablet in her lap. She couldn’t see the tears Sasha was quickly wiping away. Hearing her daughter express distain for the move made her feel like the world’s worst mother. She was being uprooted from her life, from the only house she had ever known. All of her friends would become distant memories. It was upsetting for a girl of nine. Hell, it was upsetting for a woman of thirty-seven. But it was necessary.
No one knew where they were going, not even Sasha’s own mother. She had been aware of the abuse at the end. In fact, it had been her idea for Sasha to leave. “Don’t tell anyone where you’re going,” her mother had instructed. “It’s best if we not know.”
Sasha had taken her mother’s advice and loaded a small trailer with anything that would fit. Taking Tara, they headed off to a small, New England town that barely showed up on any maps she could get her hands on. It felt as far off the grid as she could possibly be without living off the land like some sort of doomsday prepper.
A brown sign appeared on the side of the road slightly obscured by a long hanging tree, it’s leaves turning the beautiful golden colors of fall. It read, Welcome to Carlisle, Maine. Est. 1692 Our Land Echoes with the Whispers of the Past.
The quote on the sign had been oddly beautiful. It was a poetic notion that only the early settlers of the country could have possibly written. It inspired her to learn the town history. She made a mental note to learn as much as she could after they were safely unpacked and established in the small town.
It had actually been mere coincidence she had found this place. When she had planned to run away with Tara, she had called several real estate agents miles from where they lived. None could fit her hardly existent budget. Many had even laughed at her and hung up. Before she could feel defeated, however, she was given a tip to try a real estate company in Maine. Supposedly, their specialty was finding the right house for anyone on any budget. Sasha had been skeptical, realizing how low her budget really was, but had called all the same.
The overly excited man nearly talked her ear all the way down to the floor. He would not shut up about the beautiful country side and how gorgeous Maine was. Finally, he told her of a small house, more like a cottage really, in a small town in Maine. Without much hesitation, Sasha had said she’d take it.
“Don’t you want to see it first?” The man had asked. But it didn’t much matter what it looked like. Sasha knew a God send when she saw one. This was her opportunity to leave her old life behind.
As the town rose into view, Sasha slipped a Xanax into her mouth and swallowed it dry. The thought of meeting everyone and explaining where she had come from, what little she could really share, did nothing for her stress levels. When she had told her psychiatrist about the move, she had prescribed extra medicine, on top of the two pills she had to take daily for her depression. Psychiatrist sure loved their pills but they worked so Sasha did not complain.
“Mommy, are we here?” Tara asked, placing the tablet in the seat next to her. Sasha nodded at her through the rearview mirror. She could see pure happiness in her daughter’s eyes. Not because she was excited to start her new life, but because being trapped in the back seat of a small car was torture on a child.
Sasha pulled into the driveway and stared at her new home. It was small. Well, small was putting it mildly. The whole building could have fit inside a studio apartment. But what it lacked in indoor space it more than made up for with the yard. The backyard stretched for several yards before disappearing into the surrounding forest. A Thomas Kinkade painting came to mind as she stared at the cottage. Despite it’s size, it felt perfect.
Right on cue, Tara tore off into the house and bolted inside. Clearly, she was excited to see which room would be hers. Sasha smiled and hoped there were other little girls in the town her daughter could get to know. She would desperately need a friend.
She spent the next couple hours unloading the trailer. There wasn’t much to unload and, lucky for her, the cottage had already been furnished. The furniture was old and rickety but it would work. There wasn’t a television anywhere in sight but she felt they could live without one for a while.
As she unpacked a box in the kitchen, a knock came at the door. Sasha knew it must be the inevitable neighbor greeting and put on her best fake smile. She pulled the door open and smiled at the seemingly cheerful woman on her doorstep.
“Hello there, you must be the new lady.” Her New England accent was thick but Sasha didn’t mind.
“That’s me. My name’s Sasha,” she said, proffering her hand. The woman shook her hand and gave her a smile.
“Gwen,” she responded. Spotting Tara on the couch, she said “Well, hello there little one. What’s your name?”
“Tara,” she said with a frown.
“What’s wrong, dear?”
Tara shrugged and motioned to her tablet. “I can’t get the internet to work.”
“We don’t have a very good signal out here. It’s best if you use a landline if you want to make phone calls or get online. It’s tough on the young ones but it’s how it is.”
Sasha smiled. “I’ll be sure to get that set up. Wouldn’t want her getting bored at her. Not that there’s much to be bored with,” she nervously back peddled on her words, afraid she had offended the woman. “It’s such a lovely town and the view is amazing.”
“Yes, it really is. Well, I just wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood. If you ever need anything, I’m the next house down. It’s a bit of hike but a nice one. You two should come to the town center tomorrow evening and introduce yourselves. We’re having a nice little fall festival.”
“That sounds wonderful,” Sasha said, though she wasn’t sure if she meant it. Gwen smiled and said her good-byes. Seconds later, her and Tara were alone in their cozy little cottage once again. Things seemed to be going better than Sasha had expected. Her neighbors seemed friendly enough, at least one did. Not that it mattered to Sasha. She did not plan to become a social member of her newfound society. Her depression made it hard to want to get out and make friends. Considering her situation, she wasn’t overly willing to push through her feelings.
But she wondered if it would be good for Tara to get out and meet the people of the town. Maybe there would be some kids she could befriend. She would need them now more than ever. The decision seemed harder than it needed to be and the right choice should have been obvious to her. As always, she doubted and second guessed her own decisions. If she went, she’d spend the whole time wondering if she had said the wrong thing or made herself look foolish. If she didn’t go, she would become paranoid of what the town thought of her. Either way, she couldn’t win. In the end, she had to think going was the better decision.
“Hey, Tara.” She looked at her beautiful daughter sitting on the couch with a frown on her face. “You want to meet everyone tomorrow at a festival?” Tara shrugged. “It might be fun. You might meet a friend there. Maybe even a boyfriend.”
Tara giggled. “Ew, I don’t want a boyfriend.”
Sasha smiled at her daughter’s innocence, knowing one day it would vanish. She wasn’t looking forward to those days and she prayed like hell she never developed the same disorder as her mother. Tara was too precious to suffer such debilitating thoughts. She deserved everything the world had to offer and should never experience pain like Sasha had endured through her life.
A wave of emotion crashed over her like a rogue wave over the bow of a ship. She could feel herself sinking into the low pit of anguish and despair. It was nearly impossible to fight but she had to for the sake of her daughter. Tara did not need to see her mom in a heap on the floor with endless streams of tears in her eyes. Sasha did her best to fight back the feeling and eventually made her way into the bathroom, an unpacked box in hand, with the excuse she needed to unpack.
Once the door was shut, she collapsed on the floor and everything flooded out of her at once. The situation she now found herself had caught up, the thought of her ex-husband, and uprooting her daughter’s life all flowed through her mind. It was like a projector showing all of her mistakes and she could not power it down.
A memory of her husband breaking a beer bottle on the wall and forcing her to have sex with him sprung up. It made her feel disgusting and pathetic. She remembered being forced face down on the bed as he had his way with her. Sasha watched the foul smelling liquid drip down the wall until it was all over. When he was finished, he told her to clean up the mess. Even now, she was unsure if he had meant the glass bottle and beer stained wall or the disgusting substance his small member had left behind. Either way, she did both.
The memory only made her cry more. Even after everything that had happened between now and then, she still felt as if she had deserved it. After all, he would complain she didn’t give it up enough. She always had some excuse. He was sexually frustrated, which is why he broke the bottle and forced himself upon her. They were married, rape wasn’t possible. At least, it was what he had said when he found her crying about the incident the next morning.
“You know how I can get when I drink. Mix that together with sexual frustration and…” She remembered him trailing off. Or maybe she had stopped listening. All she could remember was it being the beginning of the end. It was the first time she had thought about hurting him, in self-defense of course. He did, on occasion, threaten her with a knife, or hammer, or whatever he had been holding in the moment. She would have been well within her right to protect herself.
Composing herself, Sasha sat up on the bathroom floor. The spiraling, it seemed, had come to an end. But these things always had a way of sneaking back up on her when she least suspected it. A tiny knock came at the door and Sasha jumped to her feet.
"Mommy, I have to pee."
"Alright, honey, just a second."
Making sure nothing was out of place with her hair and make-up, not wanting her daughter to think something was wrong, Sasha pulled open the bathroom door and smiled. "All yours" she said and headed off into the living room to unpack the remainder of the boxes.
No doubt, you have seen the movie Jaws. I mean, who hasn't? It's a classic movie with a concept that scared thousands of people out of the water. But, did you know it was based on a book? You did? Alright, well aren't you just so smart. Peter Benchley wrote the book Jaws and it was published in 1974. Clearly, I don't have to tell you how popular it became. But was the book any good? Well, yes and no. At least, in my opinion.
I read Jaws several years ago and have to say it completely captivated me. I finished it in one day. The characters were amazing and realistic. I actually found myself hating Hooper and Sheriff Brody's wife, Ellen. The thought of them in the book disgusted me. Which is an amazing testament to Mr. Benchley's writing style as he was able to evoke real emotion from me.
*Note, from here on out there will be spoilers for both the book and the movie. Swim at your own risk!*
I would highly recommend this book but suggest you read all the way up to the very end. Right up to when the shark attacks the Orca. Stop right there. Put the book down. And watch the end of the movie. That's where the book, at least for me, falls apart.
In the movie, there's the epic struggle with the shark as it destroys the boat and eats Quint, much like the book. However, Hooper was eaten by the shark the day before in the book. It's for the best. He was a dick. Of course, we all know Brody's famous line as he shoots the oxygen tank stuck in Jaw's jaws. (Was the shark named Jaws? I think someone should have named it Jaws. Makes sense to me) "Smile you son of..." KABOOM! Shark dead. Blood, guts, and blubbery debris rain down from the heavens. Cool, right? Well the book....well....it sucks. I just don't like it.
Quint's dead, Brody is floating on debris from the Orca. He peers into the water and sees the shark swimming towards him, mouth agape. He readies himself for death but suddenly....the shark dies. Yup. It. Just. Dies. You see, they had thrown several harpoons into the creature before hand and it only now succumbs to its wounds, just in time to not eat the main character.
Is it a more realistic ending? Yes. Is it an exciting one? No! To me, it felt like the author originally wrote an ending where Brody was eaten by the shark and continued on its way until it later died in the ocean, like many sharks before it. But then he had a change of heart and let Brody live. Which meant, having the shark die in the most anticlimactic way possible. Of course, the explosion wouldn't have been as impressive in the book but maybe we could have had something in between. You know, Brody jabs it in the eye for a final time with a spear and it dies. Would have been a lot better. For a book with so much built up conflict, it felt like the end puttered out. Ultimately, it was a great book but the ending was better in the movie.
What did you think? Did you read Jaws? Did you like the ending? Did you hate it? Let me know your feelings in the comments below! Thanks for reading and remember, keep wandering. Just not alone.
Podcasts are an amazing form of entertainment. If you've never listened to one, you should really think about giving them a try. There are literally thousands, if not millions, of choices out there. Everything from audio dramas to scientific discussions. It's pretty amazing. I listen to a lot of podcasts but I thought I would outline my top ten favorites for you. Note, these are just my personal recommendations and not in any particular order.
1. Welcome to Night vale
This podcast might be a little hard to explain. It's like an audio drama told from the perspective of a radio host for a local station in a small town known as Night Vale. Weird things happen in Night Vale but it's everyday life for the citizens. Cecil Baldwin, the narrator, breaks down the latest news of the town and outlines current events. It's a very fun show and the production quality is spectacular. I actually went to see one of their live shows last year and it was amazing. If audio drama and weirdness is your thing, you have to listen to Welcome to Night Vale.
2. Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories
Once I started listening to this show, I couldn't stop until I was caught up. The cases they discuss are all real murders which, to this day, have never been solved. The show gets its real character from the audio drama elements they borrow. The hosts, Carter and Wendy, outline details of each murder and in between the crucial parts of the stories are acted out by voice actors. Think of it like part documentary, part old time radio program. I've learned a lot about unsolved murders. Even ones I thought I knew so much about already.
If you haven't heard of Lore, you really need to look it up. It became one of my favorite shows after about one episode. The show has expanded too. It's now a show on Amazon Prime and even a book series. All of which are incredible. Basically, the show is narrated by the wonderful Aaron Mahnke and it outlines stories about lore and legends. Everything from ghosts possessing a child's doll to the hysteria of a town fearing vampires. Lore showcases the real stories surrounding the lore. The show is amazingly produced and the music is awesome. (Shout out to Chad Lawson) If you only listen to one podcast from my list, I highly recommend this one. Especially if you're into legends and history.
4. Sword & Scale
This is a true crime podcast. If you can't tell, true crime is one of my favorite subjects. Sword & Scale presents these stories in a fascinating way. Real audio is used to tell the story whether it be 911 calls, audio from court hearings, or even interviews with experts and eye witnesses. Basically, this podcast is not just a guy relaying a story into the microphone. Sword and Scale makes the stories come alive and become real. Which might make several of the cases much more disturbing. I will warn, some of the cases mentioned are highly disturbing, so don't listen if you're squeamish.
5. 60 Second Science
Have you wanted to listen to a podcast but don't have a whole lot of time? Then this show is perfect for you! Each episode is only a couple of minutes long and talks about current studies and stories in the scientific community. Think of it like hearing a brief news report about the latest scientific discoveries. Since it's only a few minutes long, don't expect detailed explanations but what they do explain is very informative. If you have a few minutes to spare, check it out.
6. Hostile Worlds
Speaking of science, this quickly became one of my favorites. I was hooked from episode one. It's part audio drama, part science documentary. Trust me, you won't be bored listening to this podcast. The hosts travel through space in a ship named the Tardigrade and visit planets and moons such as Venus and Titan. As they explore these alien worlds, they explain what it's like to explore these places in great detail. You might actually believe they are truly there. It's fun and educational.
7. The No Sleep Podcast
Do you love horror? Do you love audio drama? Then this is perfect for you. Each episode consists of several stories found on the No Sleep forum of Reddit. The voice actors portray the stories in true audio drama fashion. The sound effects are great and really add to the level of horror this show already provides. There are so many talented voice actors on this show it's ridiculous. It's by far my favorite horror podcast. Nothing can top it.
8. Serial Killers
I know, a lot of true crime in my playlist. But they're so good. Especially Serial Killers. It's under the same network as Unsolved Murders. Hosts Greg and Vanessa break down the motives and methods of different serial killers. Everyone from Ted Bundy to Elizabeth Bathory. They give facts about the case and even breakdown the psychological profile of each serial killer. I have learned so much about serial killers I thought I knew and even learned disturbing new ones. And, it has sparked a few book ideas as well. If you love true crime or the topic of serial killers in general, this is perfect for you.
9. American History Tellers
I am a big fan of history, always have been. American History Tellers breaks down American history one era at a time. It started off with Cold War and is currently explaining the days of prohibition. What's interesting about this podcast is it puts you in the shoes of someone living in that period. The listener is presented with stories and information about history which may have eluded them in history classes in school. I love hearing the true history of my nation. It's much better than the watered down versions so many schools introduce. History buffs should definitely sink their teeth in.
10. Thinking Sideways
This podcast is a little different than everything else on my list. The hosts present real life mysteries such as the Somerton Man Mystery or the Wow! signal and talk about the mysteries circumstances surrounding them. Near the end they give their own theories which sometimes involve aliens, jokingly of course. The three hosts, Devin, Joe, and Steve, have great chemistry and really engage the listener in these mysteries. Out of all of the the shows I listen to it's probably the least structured and scripted but that's what makes it so much fun. It's three people, in a room, talking about mysteries. You can't go wrong there.
These are just ten of the many podcasts I subscribe to and I'm always looking for more. If you have a suggestion from one of your favorite shows, drop a comment below. I will most likely subscribe and have a listen. Podcasts are a great form of entertainment and even education. With so many shows out there, it's hard to list only ten. I hope you enjoyed my list and hopefully you discover a new favorite show to listen to. Thanks for reading and, as always, keep wandering, just not alone.
Recently, I asked a question on social media regarding a possible branch out in genre. It seemed many people were on board with this idea and I like it as well. There is no good reason writers should only stick to one type of genre. Some of my favorite writers pushed the boundaries. Michael Crichton, Stephen King, Sean Costello. Even Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels, dabbled in children's books.
As you may or may not know, I started out writing horror. When I was a kid, I wrote short horror stories. It wasn't until mid way through high school I discovered the thriller/suspense genre and stayed in it ever since. Of course, with the release of my first horror novella, you can see I'm getting back into the horror genre and I'm loving it. Horror is a lot of fun to try and craft, albeit dark and disturbing at times. But it really got me thinking, What else should I do to push the boundaries?
Recently, I started reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series and enjoying it very much. But it also got me thinking. Could I do this? Could I write a fantasy novel? Could I write a fantasy series? I liked the thought and the challenge a lot. After all, I had written a horror piece which people seemed to enjoy. Science Fiction and Fantasy have been genres I've loved to read so why shouldn't I dip my pen in the same ink?
It's a long winded way of saying this, I know and I'm sorry. Now, I'm announcing that I will be pushing forward into the scifi/horror genre more so than I already have. I will still continue my horror novellas every year but look for stand alone novels in the horror and scifi genres soon! (And maybe a fantasy novel one day) I hope you enjoy what I'll be crafting in the near future! Let me know what you think in the comments below and remember, keep wandering, just not alone.
Let's keep this short and simple. I've made a few changes to my website and I thought I would share. If you head over to my site and click on the extras tab, or click here, you will find new content. What is this content? Simple. It's the images and micro stories I've been posting to my Tumblr. For those who don't have Tumblr, you can head here to read my micro stories, about 4-6 sentences long, which are paired up with nature photography taken by me.
Below that, you will find a new section titled short stories. This is where I will post some short stories I've written and never published. Remember, you can get more of those over on Patreon, if you're so inclined. But this will be a decent collection of unpublished works.
There's also a few minor changes I've made to banners and other features. 1,000 points to anyone that notices! But that's basically it. I'm happy with these changes and hope you decide to stop in from time to time and read my Book of Nature micro stories and maybe even scroll through a short story or two. Let me know what you think of these changes in the comments below! And remember, keep wandering...just not alone!
You can probably tell what this post is about by looking at the banner but I'm gonna tell you anyway. I have joined Tumblr! Not sure what that means? Me neither. I'm still learning how Tumblr works but it actually seems like a lot of fun. Plus, I'm doing something a little unique with mine.
For the most part, Tumblr seems to be a place for people to share images, GIFs, and videos in a blog format. I think you'll like the format Tumblr has but I hope you like what I'm doing as well. You see, I'm big into the outdoors. I spend a lot of my time hiking, camping, and just plain being outside. Another of my hobbies is photography. On my hard drive, I have a myriad of photos of wildlife, campgrounds, nature, animals, and just anything you can think of in regards to outdoors.
What's my point? Well, I'm going to combine my interests over on Tumblr. Periodically, I will be posting the photos I've taken in the wild and write a "micro story" inspired by the image. These stories will be about 2 or 3 sentences long but hopefully they have a big impact. I've titled my page Book of Nature.
If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, head over to Tumblr by clicking this link and give me a follow. I'd really appreciate it. I'm always looking for new ways to entertain everyone and this could be a lot of fun. Hope to see you on Tumblr. As always, thanks for reading now and in the future!
As you may already know, it is my goal to publish a new horror novella every year. These novellas will always be released in October. I'm having a lot of fun working on these novellas and thought I'd up the ante a little. Starting with my upcoming novella this October, each book will feature a never before read short story.
These short stories will not be related to the horror novella they are featured in but they might be part of a larger universe themselves. They will either be a continuous story told in short story fashion or stand alone stories. I have yet to decide.
Actually, this would be a great thing for you all to decide. What would you prefer? Let me know if the comments below if you'd rather read a larger story via short stories or if you think stand alone would be better. And, as always, thanks for reading!
Hello all, and happy new year! I hope everyone had a fun holiday season and enjoyed ushering in the new year. Now that 2018 is in full swing, the work begins again. Do you set a resolution for yourself? I usually don't in my personal life but I always try in my writing. This year I resolve to find more time to write throughout the week. If NaNoWriMo taught me anything, it's that I have far more time than I thought.
But on to what will be happening this year. This October you can look forward to another horror novella release. It should be finished soon and then the dreaded editing process can begin. I also have another novel I'm working on featuring a whole new character. This one should be a lot of fun and when it's ready, I hope you enjoy it.
Apart from writing, I'm going to try and read more than I did last year. I did a terrible job keeping up with my reading last year so I have to make that right.
What about you? What are your goals for 2018? Let me know in the comments below.
For some, Christmas is a wonderful time of year filled with joy and warmth. For others, it's a time of stress. Finding the right gift for someone you might only see a couple times of year can be challenging. But does it have to be? Should we search for hours at large retail stores for that perfect gift which may end up returned after Christmas? Isn't there a better way?
The country of Iceland seems to have a cool tradition which could easily solve that problem. Today, I learned about something called Jólabókaflóð. Essentially, it's an Icelandic tradition where people give each other books on Christmas Eve. That night, the books are read while drinking hot chocolate or a special Christmas ale. I don't know about you but I think I just found my new favorite holiday tradition.
Jólabókaflóð gets its origins from World War II where books were common gifts to give, as paper was one of the only commodities not being rationed for war time. Every year since 1944, the people of Iceland receive a bulletin featuring many books. They use this bulletin to order books for one another. Amazing, right?
Instead of buying random kitchen appliances or shirts that might not fit for extended family members, I think it would be neat to start buying books. The tradition I would love to start would be each member of the family buys a book, from their favorite local bookstore of course, and gifts it to someone else. From there, it can be handled like a Yankee Swap (Chinese gift exchange, White Elephant, or whatever you want to call it). At the end of the night, everyone has a book they should read at least one chapter of that night. It would be a great way to explore new authors and get into a better habit of reading.
Let's join Iceland in reading more books during this holiday season. Who else is thinking about following the Jólabókaflóð tradition? Are you thinking about making your own? Let me know what your plans are in the comments below! And, as always, thanks for reading!
P.S. You could always gift your family one of my books 😉 What? You thought I would write an article about gifting books and wouldn't try to slip in a promo?
You are able to read this right now because of the free and open internet we enjoy. In fact, the internet allows me to realize my dream and get my work out there for the world to see. You're only able to read it because of the open internet. Imagine if that were gone? How many of your favorite artists would cease to create? Without a platform in which to share their work, how could they? Millions of dreamers across this country would lose that dream. And many of you who support them and enjoy their content would lose out.
This is exactly the thing the current chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, is trying to create. Listen, there have been a lot of articles floating around stating the "government has no business regulating the internet." Unfortunately, these articles are taking advantage of people who don't understand what the FCC actually did to protect the internet.
In 2015, the FCC passed a regulation known as Title II. This gave the FCC the power to keep companies such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast from throttling, blocking, or interfering with web traffic. What does that mean? Well, it means these corporations would not be allowed to slow down internet speeds, forcing you to pay more for higher connections. It also means they would not have the right to block content they did not agree with. The FCC is not "controlling" the internet the way they see fit. They are making sure it's being distributed fairly. In fact, they're stopping private companies from controlling it.
Pai is suggesting we hand control of the internet over to private companies and allow them to decide how to police it. That would be like allowing your neighbors the ability to arrest the people on their block. Would that power get abused? Maybe not. Maybe they would only arrest those who are actually breaking the law. But what happens when someone does something they just don't like? Maybe they don't like their new neighbors. Maybe they don't like the candidate you plan to vote for. Maybe they don't like the kind of car they drive. How long before they abuse that power? And with no consequences, what would it matter?
Right now, there's law to protect the internet and us from being taken advantage of. The only thing keeping us safe from losing the internet as we know it is Net Neutrality. Taking it away could also mean higher prices for the internet you already use. Imagine having to purchase your internet much like you would cable or a car. Would you just like the basic internet? You're able to browse a few selected websites and have access to email, only $29.99! Want to connect with friends and family? Get our social media package. Comes with access to Facebook, Twitter, and basic access to the web. Only $39.99! Want to watch videos and stream content? You need the entertainment package. Access to Youtube, Netflix, and more. Only $59.99! And with this bundle you get up to 55GB of data! What a great deal! *Access to data sold separate*
I think you get the point. We shouldn't have to pay more for the content we want to see online. We should have all access to it. Small businesses generate revenue and traffic from their online presence everyday. Artists create their work and use the web to distribute and advertise their art. Students use it to study. Families use it to connect. News outlets use it to inform. The internet is a much more powerful tool than many realize.
We need to save the internet as it is today. Keep Net Neutrality laws in place. Let's keep Pai and his lobbyists' hands off of the internet that we know and love. This weird, funny, loving, awful, wonderful, and passionate place where we can all thrive and explore. Call your congress representatives, send them an email, sign online petitions, even share this blog. Do anything! The FCC votes on this Dec. 12th. We can't allow Pai to win!
Click HERE to sign the online petition.
Click HERE to email your member of congress.
Click HERE, HERE, and HERE to learn more about Net Neutrality.
Evan Bond, author of To the Wolves and Death Can Wait, is a thriller/suspense author. When not writing, he can be found hiking or camping in the beautiful state of Florida.