Creepy, right? This is the cover to DEICIDE, a book about man and god… fighting.

I have a new book out

The Recovery Chronicles #19

AE Stueve
3 min readJul 12, 2022


In the initial stage of recovery from my open heart surgery, when I first came home from the hospital, I had trouble sleeping. Maybe nightmares woke me. Maybe it was the several drugs I had to take at the time. Maybe it was how my body dealt with the trauma of it all. Who knows? Anyway, oftentimes, after waking up at, like, 2:30 in the morning, I was unable to sleep for two to four hours. It was September 2020 and in Nebraska most nights in that month are pleasant.

So, alone, I would hobble down the stairs of our split level ranch and leave my house so I could sit on my front step. It was cathartic in its repetition. Every night I would feel the cold cement beneath me, breathe the crisp late summer/early autumn air — taste it even, and study the vast black sky. And — you guessed it — I’d think about how massive and empty the universe is and how absolutely tiny I was — we all are.

And I’d cry bittersweet tears.

Because, despite how tiny I was, I was happy to be alive. I didn’t care that I was little more than a speck on a speck. I was happy to be alive. As someone who has battled depression his entire life, I was probably happier to be alive than I had ever been. But I was also angry at myself for every suicidal thought I had ever had. It was a profound mix of emotions that two years later I’m still not done processing.

Staring Death in the face is difficult. Stressful even. Scary.

But, shit man, it is also revelatory.

I was never as cliché as the work obsessed stockbroker who doesn’t know how to express his love or anything like that. But one thing I realized sitting on that front step was that I worked too much. And, frankly, I made my job too difficult by not working when I should have been. Yes, there is something ironic about having both of those problems at the same time. I’ll go further too and let you know that there are a list of mistakes I could write here (not just work related). But I’m not going to. I wasn’t perfect and I’m still not. That said, the heart surgery made me realize that in many ways I was focused on the wrong things.

So I made changes. I started focusing on the things I enjoy more than work. You know what I enjoy more than work? Stories. I’ve spent the last couple of years leaning hard into my writing life. I’ve had a few things published, written a few things, and finally, I sat down and seriously edited my horror/sci-fi novella Deicide. Then, I went ahead and leapt into the world of self-publishing and released that bad boy myself.

I hope you check out my new book that is both a tribute to and an indictment of religion and mythology.

What could have possibly triggered that theme?




AE Stueve

AE Stueve teaches and writes in Omaha, NE. Check out all of his available work at