Depression Quest – The Lapse Podcast Features ME!

 

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The Lapse is produced by Kyle Gest, a Vancouver based creative powerhouse. His podcast was a best-of-2014 award winner, and their latest episode features my story Depression Quest – Prescription Ketamine, Divorcing a Dutch Model, and Suicidal Tendencies.

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In it, I give an account of some interesting things that happened in my life that I don’t talk about with many people. Not because I am too shy, but because some things are hard for people who care about you to talk about. Perhaps, sharing my experiences with strangers is good therapy?

If you would like to listen, head over to The Lapse’s website, or click here to find it on iTunes.

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Official Book Launch at Four Winds Brewing

Book Reading and Beer Tasting

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Come join me for the official book launch of Five Weeks in the Amazon this Thursday Dec. 11 at Four Winds Brewing Co.

Time: 7-8pm

Location: #4-7355 72nd st., Delta, British Columbia V4G 1L5

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Four Winds Brewing Company joined the burgeoning BC craft beer scene and opened their doors to a public thirsty for new local offerings on June 1, 2013. Owned, operated and built from the ground up by the Mills family and friends, we are inspired by the Four Winds in gathering flavours from around the world to create our unique West Coast and European style’s. We take great pleasure in the application of new world innovations while staying true to old world techniques. Motivated by the limitless potential of beer, as well as the great brewers who came before us. We aim to craft bold beers with character, depth and balance.

Situated just off the banks of the Fraser river in Delta BC,  our brewery is geared towards bottle and draft production while our tasting room provides a unique and welcoming atmosphere for craft beer enthusiasts and newcomers alike.   In addition to our tasting room,  our beers can be found in bars, restaurants and private liquor stores across greater Vancouver and Victoria.

Five Weeks in the Amazon

 A backpacker’s journey: life in the rainforest, Ayahuasca, and a Peruvian shaman’s ancient diet 

Five Weeks in the Amazon - Ebook Cover

Who Are The Best Self-Publishing Partners For An Indie Author? Dean Bradshaw

Cover Photographer – Dean Bradshaw

If a picture says a thousand words, then photographer Dean Bradshaw’s career is an epic novel. Originally from Australia, he fly to Los Angeles with a Biology degree and the dream of becoming one of the world’s top photographers.

beatthechefv2In a market saturated with talent, Dean’s eye for idiosyncratic subjects has become fused with his post production skills. He created a niche in the commercial photography market, and brands like American Express, National Geographic and Wrangler have all sought his unique photograph art.

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The thing I had in common with Dean when we first met was we were both foreigners that were living in California. Until you have ever actually lived in another country it is hard to fully understand what it’s like. Dean shared this understanding with me, and when he learned how much passion I had for coaching pro skateboarders he approached me and asked if he could shoot a feature on me for website witnessthis.com, (which is where I got the headshot I use everywhere, thanks Dean & Dersu).

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A few months after I got back from spending Five Weeks in the Amazon, Dean and his beautiful wife Catherine went to Peru to spend a week with the same shaman. So not only was he able to provide great imagery for my cover, he knows better than anyone the power of the jungle, the psychotropic jungle medication Ayahuasca, and of course got to meet Otillia, mi espiritu madre.

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Like I mentioned before, we all know the saying, “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover”, but the one thing it doesn’t apply to at all is books. We all judge books by their cover, so having Dean give me the images I used for the final cover design is awesome! Thanks Dean!

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Want to see Five Weeks in the Amazon?

CLICK HERE

A Couple of Video’s from when I was a Sponsored Skateboarder (warning graphic content)

Sean Hayes Skate Part - Red Dragon Skateboard Party

When you’re filming a part for a skateboard video you push yourself so far, both mentally and physically, that getting hurt is pretty common. I was never the best skateboarder, but I sure as hell fell in love with it, and I haven’t quit since.

The first half of this video is a short part I had in the Red Dragon video “Skateboard Party”. The second half is from the “bail section” later in the video (and shows why my first half was so short). Warning, it’s a little graphic and I say bad words.

I was trying to shoot a photo for the cover of a magazine. I ended up in the hospital with 2 broken ribs and compound fracture in my foot that required surgery, two metal plates and 12 screws. Like all young, strong athletes should, I healed my body and six months later went back to try the same trick. This time I planned to conquer it. I wish could say I landed it, but I didn’t. I had the exact same fall and broke the same two ribs, cut the same part of my eyebrow, but luckily I didn’t break my foot again, I only tore the left MCL on my knee.

While it’s the only trick I regret not landing, I’m glad I had the balls to go back and try it again. Even though it may have beaten me in the end, I was able to walk away knowing I tried my best.

Who Are The Best Self-Publishing Partners For An Indie Author? Rory Doyle

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Cover Designer – Rory Doyle

‘You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover’ Everyone has heard this saying, but it doesn’t mean as much when you are publishing your own book. People will judge its cover. A large part of my selling, or not selling, will come from the initial judgment people have the instant they first see the cover. This is why I knew I needed to find someone to create something that will jump off the bookshelves. If you want to be the first to see it when it comes out, click here.

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Just like I know Ryan Krusac is going to make me an awesome hand-made fountain pen, there’s no one I trust more than Rory Doyle to make an awesome cover design. A friend for over a decade, as a teenager I only knew him as a skateboarder. It was only in the last few years that his talent started being noticed on a global level, and it make sense that he had always been an artist with a passion for graffiti and drawing. He knew from the beginning of his career that if an artist combines their fine art ability with a set of digital skills, they will be much more valuable. Doyle did just that and has not only taught digital design courses, but he’s also been employed as a 3D artist making video games EA Sports.

Doyle - CoversWhen it comes finding inspiration

Doyle says you’re more likely to find him thumbing through an old collection of vinyl records than trolling online. As for preparing for a project (like designing my book cover), he likes to research areas related to the theme, or vision of the project. That way his finished work contains an informed understanding, which began in the creative process, and concludes in high-level concepts. For Doyle, the Vancouver art scene is unique because of the amount of talent, and the variety of styles that it is made of. He believes growing up in the Pacific Northwest has been a big influence his work, and he enjoys living where the he can ride a skateboard in the summer, and a snowboard in the winter.

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Prohibition Beer

Prohibition Brewing Company makes craft beer in Vancouver, B.C. They approached Doyle with the idea to create a brand image that spoke to the prohibition era. What made their idea stand out to was that the art he created would be screened right on the bottle. Limited to four colors Doyle incorporated the bottle itself into the outlining and shadows.

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In a town filled with cowboys, the Commonwealth Bar & Stage in Calgary, Alberta stands out. They commissioned Rory to hand shape and paint huge slabs of oak in a series he named “Lethal Toxins”

 Chronic Taco

Chronic TacoEverybody loves Chronic Taco. Their niche in the mexi-fusion restaurant market couldn’t have more fitting illustrations their Las Vegas storefront. There is a fusion in the art itself and Doyle hit the nail on the head on this one!

I can tell Sean is extremely passionate about this project.  I want to make sure I help visualize that passion through to the cover and compound it with the ability the Amazon has to draw you in. I look forward to the challenge of finding the best way to do that.

In Rory’s words

“I can tell Sean is extremely passionate about this project; that’s what I want to bring to life through the cover. The Amazon has a natural ability to draw you in and I look forward to finding the best way convey that through my design”

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be grateful if you’d click one the buttons below and share it right now.  Or click here to get an exclusive deal when my book Five Weeks in the Amazon comes out.

The Shadows Want Me – An illustrated Poem

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I wanted to do something special with this poem.  I wrote it over a decade ago, when I was living in my parents garage.  There were no electric lights, but I didn’t mind, I’ve always loved the way candles light up a room.  On many stormy nights I watched the shadows, which to me seemed like they were playing in the corners of darkness.

A few months ago I reconnected with Ben Speichart, an old friend from high school.  I’d seen some of his illustrations online and I asked  after I had seen some of his illustrations online.  I contacted him to see if he wanted to collaborate, my idea was to put his artwork together with my words.

Click on the photos below to see the finished project and hit the share button to help me out!

 

Kids will be Kids

Kids will be Kids – A Short Story from Colombia

They were sitting on the grass across the street from him. It was dry now, but it wouldn’t be later. The rain always comes in the afternoon and most of the time it was after he had taken lunch. It never lasted long, and it never got cold enough to need a jacket, but every day the rain would come. It was something the man had come to expect and it didn’t bother him anymore.

There were two girls leaning against each other and two boys sitting on either side of them. A third boy was lying with his head in the lap of the girl who had jean shorts and a new tattoo. One of the boys, the one with the hat, stood up and began to lean to the right, then he leaned to the left, and then he fell down in the exact spot where he had been sitting. The group erupted in laughter and the man continued walking.

One of the girls was holding a beer and took the last sip before placing it on the grass beside her. She pulled out her cellphone and said something to the others while pointing at the man who was watching them. The girl next to her was playing with the hair of the boy whose head was in her lap. She looked up curiously at the man and he was already looking at her. From where he was, he saw the sun reflecting off her shiny, smooth and slightly tangled blond hair but he looked down when he caught her looking at him.

Beginning to walk a little faster he looked away and felt a nervous wave of self-consciousness wash over him when he realized they were talking about him. The only reason he had been watching them so closely was because he remembered the girl with the new tattoo. She had come in three different times last night, each time a little more drunk.

The girl with the new tattoo spoke with rapid, confusing English words and the man couldn’t understand anything she was saying. He liked her voice though; it was soft and clear, but also piercing in its honesty. Slowly walking along the sidewalk the man listened to the foreign words and wondered if he would ever learn English one day.

The group stood up together and looked towards him. He had no doubt anymore; he knew they were going to follow him and he walked even faster. Without stopping he bent down to pick up an empty beer bottle from the sidewalk and stole a quick glance towards them.

Across the street he saw one of the boys grab hold of the one who had been lying down and pulled him to his feet. The two girls stood beside them adjusting their shorts and tops. When the third boy stood, he put his arm around the girl with the new tattoo, but she slid out from under his arm and turned around to face him. Grabbing both his hands she started skipping backwards leading him, and the group, playfully across the street.

The man saw that they were getting closer when he looked back. He used his good hand to help him climb the short staircase. He stubbed his toe and stumbled, but kept hold of the railing along the stairs. At the top of the stairs he reached out and threw the beer bottle he’d picked up into the trash. The group had almost crossed the street when he looked again and suddenly he felt rushed.

I wonder how long they have been waiting for me, he thought, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a big key ring filled with keys of all shapes. He coughed a little to clear his throat, then bent down on one knee to open the giant padlock attached to the bottom of the metal door. He jiggled the padlock loose and with a surge of effort slid the metal door upwards. As it rolled up, it clicked loudly at each fold. He stood back up and tried to find the other key he needed to get inside.

He slid the key into the deadbolt and turned it counterclockwise until the bolt slid back into the lock. Swinging the door open made the bell, which was attached to the hinge of the door, jingle cheerfully. The sound of the bell had been burned into his memory and by this point in his life it gave him a feeling like deja vu every time he heard it. Before stepping inside he slid a rock across the ground with his right foot to hold the door open. He looked back over his shoulder one last time and shuffled inside as fast as his old body would let him.

The group jumped up the stairs cheering. The beer store is now open.