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

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?

:)

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AE Stueve

AE Stueve

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