About Colonel Mustard:
Greetings Fellow Word Smiths and Travelers,
I am completely invested into this moment and this interview. I am looking at it as the destination that has taken me a lifetime to reach, an achievement accomplished, a reason to believe. Now, before I start, I pause in whole wonder and awe struck contemplation and gratitude, and say thank you for this opportunity.
I feel I am obligated to give back what was so freely taken. I owe this world some explanation and perhaps my balled up treasure map, guided by the compass of my heart, and each word written neatly in the blood of my pen, maybe it can help guide somebody through the Minotaur’s Labyrinth, as good books really never end.
It is 6:00 pm and I am on the second floor of an apartment at the beach and it is the 4th of July (Happy Birthday America!!) and raining, but I think they are still planning on launching off the fireworks. I am listening to “Out of the Box” Archives run by Paul Shugrue, and we are taking it easy before we cook up some shrimp.
My view on life is, life is a joke and when you die you get the punchline, because there is something very funny going on around here. I can’t really put my finger on it, but something definitely very funny is happening.
I usually am either running from something or running to something, but when I pause and root in the ground and feel the music vibrate through my bones and I remember to dance, suddenly life makes sense and I dance in gratitude, I dance in victory, I dance in passion, I dance in love. I was taught the word guidance, is “God, You and I, Dance.”
I love to read books, I get a lifetime of wisdom in one sitting, and I love all of those savory nuggets of golden thought to savor and think about, the golden nuggets of thought gathered by people who chip at them with pickaxes from the mines in their heart. I enjoy talking to people and finding their treasure, and all the gifts that come along with this. I know without a doubt it is the rainbow that is the true treasure, not the pot of gold at the end.
I used to dress my scarecrow very scary looking when my garden and crops were just withered weeds in clumps of parking lot asphalt and desert sand, but having spent much time tending my garden into an oasis of sorts, now I want my scarecrow to welcome people and let them enjoy my crops. Anything I invest my love and time into will grow. Knowing we only have a certain amount of time gives me this super sense of urgency to do good works now.
Each moment, the present, is a gift and I am surrounded by countless unopened moments and I strive to enjoy each one. I have conjured in my mind a perfect sanctuary, a sandy pebble river bank with a large tree and its shady canopy above me and a beautiful flowing river, my mind, full of fish that are my thoughts. I sometimes like to just sit there and watch the fish swim past me, not particularly engaging any of them, just aware of their presence, but eventually I must feed, I cannot hold on to the gap for too long, and my mind must think. I grab hold of a fish, a thought, and I bite into it, and that thought becomes my reality.
Sometimes these fish come from a nuclear reactor plant a ways back and there have been times in my life when I couldn’t weed out the mutated fish/thought, my filter was gone, and I acted on each one. Needless to say this has led to some embarrassing and my own life endangering moments, as well as some very humorous ones, and some things I deeply regret that scar my soul and eat at me.
I say this as an introduction to a label I have, one that has taken me a lifetime to wear proudly, I am diagnosed with schizophrenia.
A lot of my writing is based on real delusions, I have come to really appreciate the small differences that make us complete, I call schizophrenia, “DreamWalking”. I explain it is like when you are asleep and have completely bought into your dream, even if it is super strange or irrational, and it is not until you wake up that you realize it was just a dream. That’s how I get when un-medicated.
I am medicated now and things are good, but having had this unique perspective I think most do not understand, has given me some food for thought and a great source of creative strength and inspiration.
I have written eight books but two need work and my latest one is just the beginning of a trilogy. If you go to Smashwords or Barnes and Noble’s website and type in “Colonel Mustard” they will appear and you can download them for free.
This is my vision below, I wrote it for a group I belonged to that has disbanded but it is true to my heart. I wrote it from my own beliefs. It is carved into me.
My purpose is accomplished when I draw from a source of love and not a source of fear. I share a common and hearty attitude of gratitude, and draw on love, to weather the rough seas when we find ourselves in times of turmoil.
For it is when the waves of life grow so large and look so overwhelming and threatening and challenging, that we are meant to ride them, not run and become crushed under them. It is the waves strength that propels us onto shore. I choose to view our events in our life as either lessons or blessings, I choose to learn positive skills and knowledge from our lessons and to enjoy and be grateful for our blessings.
We who have struggled climbing up the mountaintop carrying our personalized giant boulder, we have developed strong muscles, carrying our own heavy burdens, uphill, alone, but we cannot make it to the top. We need to ask for help, help to carry and lighten our load, if but a little. We know even the smallest relief can be a great gift and a blessing, and each footstep up the mountaintop gained is a victory, by which we continue to need help with. It is in a moment of clarity, relieved temporary of our burden, when a miracle may happen. How beautiful when we realize we no longer need to carry our boulders and we can drop them.
Carrying such heavy weight, we have grown strong muscles, and when relieved of it, we help others with their burdens, until they reach the pinnacle point when they realize they no longer need to carry their boulders everywhere they go and can let them go.
Our experiences with these challenges have made us strong, and the further down the hole we have fallen, and then climbed out, the more we can safely guide those, still digging in their own holes, the way out.
It is so healing and unifying when we realize we are not hurtling through the darkness of space all alone, there are others who experience similar trials and life events and who are recovering with us. Recovery, from falling off a horse and breaking every bone in our body, is not just healing back to normal, recovery is getting back on the horse and learning how to ride the horse and avoid from falling off the horse again.
We welcome our individuality that makes us special and our gifts, unique. Happiness is using our gifts we are given to help somebody else and knowing we are all just one piece in the puzzle, and we all have unique gifts to fill in others flaws, and we all have flaws and holes that alone we cannot overcome but the gifts of others can help fill, knowing our experiences shape us into our own unique puzzle piece, that we had to have happen for us to be able to fit perfectly into the puzzle.
We care because once we were lost in the dark cold of mental illness, co-occuring, and/or substance abuse, until someone journeyed into the dark with a candle blazing in their heart full of warmth and love, and lit our heart and rescued us. Now that the candle in our heart is lit, we can safely journey into the dark with no fear, and light other candles in other hearts with the same spark.
We will journey into the deserts, the darkness, we go where we are needed. We are on our own unique journey in recovery, we take many different roads, but we are not alone, our purpose is clear, to raise the flag of hope for all of the hopeless to see, and together march and parade and storm into the gates of all heck and release our lost brothers and sisters from their own self-made prison cells where they suffer needlessly tortured behind doors that are not even locked but seem so overwhelmingly impossible to open alone.
I would like to help promote the creative gifts of the Mentally “ill”, that is a flag I would be honored to carry into the gates of Heaven, or maybe in the very least, a Queen Burger Joint or maybe even plant one on the moon.
Enjoy these Free eBooks based on Real Delusions in an effort to show the Creative side of mental illness, the beauty, often times forged in flame. Questions? Suggestions?
Agent For Hope – Sleeping on a Space Curb
Star Yoke, the Blood of God, grants those who take it the powers of the Masters. The ToasterX pilot steals the Star Seed, capable of creating The Infinite, as Time Kneels, holding a Broken Shield. Death near, the Knights of Light have but one choice to survive, to enter the bodies of trees, prisons, left from an ancient advanced race. In Tree Form they wait until the day mankind can decipher the sunlight.
Sound of Mind – Adventures in Schizophrenia
Join me, in the asylum, as together we go on a very odd journey of discovery in my first mental institution experience. Enter a strange world, before I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, as I compete against other game show contestants in a battle to win genetic traits for my family tree. This book offers a better understanding of mental illness and a real view of the realm of thought disorders.
A Hole Without Walls – Book of Poems
I really do not know what to say, poetry can be so revealing, lower so many walls exposing one's heart, a very personal experience, that I feel a close relationship beginning between us, my heart is pounding fast, the compass I navigate with so perhaps I am on the right path, however I will not put out so easily, keep your hands to yourself! Ok, now Touch me! Give it! More! Oh I am a Poetry Store!
A man, Chase, (Dreamwalker), an alcoholic with schizophrenia realizes he is just a memory of his brain that is severed and suffering in a jar. To end the pain, he must journey far on a quest to toss his brain into the fires of Sain. The brain summons Agents of the Mind from past life experiences to help Chase accomplish this, it calls upon three Agents, Socrates, Einstein, and Dr. Freud.
Tree Womb – Book of Poems
Pretend you are a mountain, now plant a tree for the baby birds to sing, now if you are the words call out to your worms, furry birds, soft caress of flowers, feel inside the joy, an euphoric high for all to keep singing, to attract then attack the bees. This is a book of poems of Love, Life, and Laughter. It's like sleeping with a baked ham beneath the sheets.
What inspires you to write?
Words. Words inspire me to write, as each one is special and carries its own weight or image with it in my mind. The real craft of WordSmiths, the magic, is when we string words one at a time together and lead someone on their own journey in their own mind one image at a time. I think no two journeys are the same, as we all conjure different images for different words. I still find it fascinating how we have a never ending stream of thought, and some of those thoughts we speak out our mouths or body language, giving them life, and some we write down, anchoring the thought into the physical world.
I am also incredibly inspired by Nature, Space, and the Great Unknown.
Tell us about your writing process.
Usually I only have a blurred image, when I begin, as if I am peering over the side of my boat into the water, and I see and sense something just below. It is my job to catch it, or, if I go far away in my dreams to photograph it, to experience the journey with you, and like a detective or an archaeologist, uncover it. It starts to grow as the plot takes form and together we give birth.
Not one for outlines or notecards, I let the wolves in my mind loose and they charge through the herds of sheep looking to feed, I enter the pickle stand where any thought, memory or mental ill aliment or art, is bottled and collected on the shelves and can be bought, rethought or sold, I call to the sweet enrapturing temptress, my muse to seduce, as she sways closer in her dance bent leaning against the pearl fence and dragging her antlers behind with the medicine in back I am very aware of the small footprints of tiny toes she leaves and as the canopy of trees open she takes me deep, leading me into her soul mouth’s flame.
I revise and print, revise and print, and go through many, many rough drafts before I am happy.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Most of my main characters are based on my own experiences or inspired from real delusions. Each one could almost be, and in a way is, a split personality. There is a beauty to having these separate characters talk to each other and as the book develops it is usually funny to listen to them in my own mind and offer them the remote or a menu to what they want to say. Sometimes I will know instinctively what each character will say. There is always such a sweet kind of mourning process when the book is finished and the characters are silenced, and you are left to wonder, but this usually leads to the next project.
What advice would you give other writers?
My first advice is let your baby out of the closet. Don’t be afraid to show your work to people, and keep your confidence high, even if the critics give you lots of negative reviews, don’t let that steal your serenity or still your pen, believe in yourself and your abilities. For me to be turned on, I have to connect my plug into a higher source of power then myself, and I also have a switch on my back that I cannot reach. I need a person who believes in me and flips my switch on, and then once on, look out – Anything is possible! Also, as we all know, keep writing, keep on keeping on writing, every day if you can, even if it’s one line, and on the back burner of your mind have some sort of plot cooking, I especially love connecting B to C then back to A then over to E, you know the craft, the art, I find it very therapeutic and thought engaging.
Also feed yourself new sources of inspiration for your imagination, food for thought.
When I first begin a project I like to get really large sheets of paper with no lines and start writing anywhere on them, and you know, one word leads to another, and before you know it you have something, may have to sift through it, but you have something and that’s a start.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
In my teens and twenties I sent out a ton of queries to publishers, and besides free ones, I always got rejected. Frustrated I took up a new angle, and sent with my first chapter along with the synopsis of my book a short note that simply said “Our mutual Friend John told me to send this to you.” When the publisher replied back to send the entire manuscript, I told them I really do not know John and do they still want my manuscript and they said No and were very insulted.
This proved a point in my head and then drove it into my heart and for a long while I stopped writing… but I’m a writer. I need to write or it comes out in weird ways.
One of my worst decisions was when Print on Demand, POD first started. It is a publisher who you pay to publish your book and then if orders come in they print them one by one. I jumped the gun in my excitement and printed four books. They picked the cover and they are horrible. I wish I would have edited them more and waited.
Smashwords.com has been a dream come true for me. I have six ebooks they helped me publish. They have given my voice a mouth to speak from. I think they are top notch great and I am greatly indebted to them.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
They will all have to go digital. It will be too heavy and bulky to take all of the books to Mars when the Earth is collapsing in its final days and we destroy it. The books will have to be an ebook or similar format for us to save them on board our ships.
What genres do you write?: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Adventure, CyberPunk, Poetry
What formats are your books in?: eBook
Colonel Mustard Home Page Link
Link to Author Page on Smashwords
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All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.