7 Jun 2016

Anyone happy to accompany me, and wash their hands afterward?

I had the most interesting conversation yesterday, one that I want to share with you. The topic is more or less standard, it was about going out drinking with friends, and it started with the question "What happens when you need to go to the loo?". For many of you it'll be a simple matter of excusing yourself and sneaking off, do what needs doing, and then come back. For myself, it's a little bit different.

You see, I have a "designated hand washer". They're like a designated driver, but they get to wash their hands after helping me to the little disabled person's room. But that's me. Over the years, especially when I was still at university, I was--and still am--fortunate that some of my friends were happy to assist me when I need to go while out partying and so forth. If anything, it let me be free from the system and enjoy being part of the group. But that's just me. What about others? I guess this is where this article comes into play.

For a moment I want you to imagine that you are on a wheelchair like me.

See, handsome devil, aren't I? But I digress. So anyway, you're on a motorised wheelchair, reliant on others and want to go clubbing with your friends or colleagues after a long week's worth of being stuck in an office. What do you do? Here are some options:
  1. Wear a catheter bag for the night, and drink responsibly.
  2. If you are like me, and the idea of a catheter bag just doesn't sit well with you, have one or more of your friends happy to help. As they are friends with you, they'll understand that now and then you may ask help them. But remember, they have to be comfortable in doing do, but then you know your friends and colleagues best.
  3. If you're flying solo or none of your friends are comfortable with the idea of helping you, seriously consider the first option.
  4. On the other hand, if you can take your support person with you, then do so (here in New Zealand there is such a thing as individualised funding for people with disabilities to hire support workers without the need of a third party). But whatever you do here, do not be a prat and get drunk unnecessarily.
  5. If you have no one with you and you really want to go out, and a catheter bag idea doesn't sit well with you, ask one of the bar staff or bouncers. They may say "no", but it never hurts to ask.
  6. Seriously consider the first option.
  7. Go to the toilet before you go out.
  8. Don't drink to excess.
  9. Stay home.
I think that the ultimate thing here is about doing what is best for you, and as you can see I am a strong proponent of catheter bags. Above all else, be responsible when drinking. Trust me, you'll be better of in the long run.

This first appeared in LinkedIn on June 1, 2016

10 Apr 2016

Why I pulled Compromised

Until a few days ago, my Amazon page had four titles plus my academic thesis-turned-book. You will notice that "Compromised" is missing a price tag, that is because I'm pulling the novelette off Amazon.

Why, you ask?

The straight forward answer is this, it's not selling at all, so why embarrass myself by having something written three to four years ago taking up space? Besides, I plan to rework it eventually.

8 Apr 2016

Cleaning up stuff

I have been writing for a long time, since my second year in high school as a matter of fact. Some of the stuff have been forgotten and trashed, forever lost and yet not forgotten.

Some things on the other hand had clung on for dear life, hoping to be seen by me once more and be given a new lease of life. Over the next couple of weeks that will be my focus, starting with a trio of stories that once upon a time featured the predecessor to Carl Nicole (coincidentally, the book featuring Nicole's predecessor was taken off Amazon because it was not selling).

Just as equally, I will be returning back to a concocted story inspired by the likes of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek Enterprise and a hint of The Expanse (but really, much of the idea came from the Jovian Chronicles, but without the mechs) and my own imagination.

Right, off we go . . .

Cover Up at 99 cents on Amazon

As I was cleaning up my Amazon page, one of the stories I opted to keep is "Cover Up".

Why, you ask?

For one, it is one of my better stories and am proud of what I have achieved with it. For another, it's a good story.

Go, check it out on Amazon.

25 Feb 2016

When Businesses Include

I cannot get enough of this video.

Yes, it may be a promotional gimmick, but it is for a real product launched in Turkey; check it here and read more about it here.

I can only dream what it is like to do things those far more able can do Can you imagine that for a few hours you are treated like a member of the community, and not as something no one knows what to do with or interact because to them you are different? It is inspiring. Living with a disability and using a motorised wheelchair, has its share of challenges but being part of a society that nurtures one's abilities despite their disabilities is a beautiful goal for us all to achieve, and I know that businesses like Sky Fitness Dunedin and PowerTech Training are definitely making that happen . . . for which I am thankful and fortunate to experience first hand.

2 Feb 2016

Does it matter?

Bad guy, turning to the title character in the Ironside reboot, and asked: “You really a cripple?”

At which point, the actor Blair Underwood responds from his wheelchair: “You tell me.”

Coincidentally, the actor is able bodied. Look, there are many arguments and counterarguments about who should be portraying disabled characters, and the like. Just check one here. Personally, it doesn’t really matter. When you get down to it, the person best suitable for the role ought to be cast.

Case in point, the rebooted Ironside. The character was a paraplegic, and the show has scenes where the guy is recalling past events when he still walked. For that, you need an actor who was able bodied.

Pretty simple, wouldn’t you agree? Look, I write fiction. okay, maybe it’s more accurate that I try writing fiction. Nonetheless, it’s all about the story.

1 Feb 2016

Enough with the revisions already . . .

mock cover for work-in-progress
Have you ever reached a moment where your creative muse just tells you
"Stop! Hammer time!" 
. . . No? . . .

Okay, mine recently told me . . .
"Stop! Enough already with the constant revising, okay?"
Yeah, mine did that. Rightly so too, I have been working on the story for the better part of a year in one form or another, most of which involved trying to come up with a setting for it. Well, the final version of what I'm hoping to be a series of stories featuring Carl Nicole and his fellow Interpol Intelligence Teammates.

Now onto the second story . . .