The Stages of Grief

The Gonzo Journals

April 25th, 2023

Depression is knocking again. Months of strengthened resistance is beginning to weaken with every rap on the door. I refuse to let it in, but its resilience is incredible. Soon, I may not have a choice.

Wondering what I’m speaking of? Go here

Five days have passed since the proverbial rug was taken out from under me. It’s a normal day in the studio, yet everything passes by like a filtered, faded memory on the edge of deletion. My coffee is cooling regardless of how quickly I’m drinking it. My Hognose snake keeps repositioning himself within his enclosure because he believes it’s ‘mouse day’. He finally shed for the first time since I adopted him and he’s cute as ever. I hope he grows up and bites fuckers. I know a few folks who could use a good biting.

Photo by Shiny Diamond on

I can’t speak much of current matters because that’s how you successfully accomplish your agenda. You shut up about it. I don’t recall the last time America was triumphant on a battlefield because CNN always meets us on the beach with cameras. The enemy watches television, you know. Channel 37 is hinting where they should drop the bombs. Super easy. Barely an inconvenience. Yes, I borrowed that quote from Ryan George. If you don’t know who he is, you’re missing out.

What I can tell you is that the fake Tik Tok account created by @kaileysmith75 was deleted mere moments after Six Flags Over Texas terminated me. Convenient, right? Ironic how those two things coincided. The account was only four days old, and two of its three followers were friends of my ex-wife. One of the first commenters was a dude she was banging around with when I decided to separate from her. When my son reached out, she claimed she was an employee of Six Flags.

I requested legal protection within HR for being the target of a hostile work environment, as is my legal right, and attempted to file a counter complaint. SFOT HR refused to acquiesce my insistence on rational assistance. Wow. That sentence is confusing. Just trust me. I think it makes sense. Maybe. Anyway, they refused to hear any arguments on my behalf, stating my books were outside the boundaries of the brand they sell to families. What did that have to do with my books? I don’t sell them there, and they’re written under a pen name. It was the easiest solution to a problem which they’ll encounter repeatedly in the coming future. I’d suggest they hit up some seminars on how not to manage business. The HR department of any organization is the largest legal target imaginable, other than safety, of course. Why would you stock your human resources department with people who aren’t even old enough to purchase alcohol without sneaking into a bootlegger? To put it in 1865 Starving Zoe terms, “they still smell like pee.”

The outpouring of support from authors, public figures, and complete strangers has been astronomical. My novella Starving Zoe jumped from #5000-ish on Amazon to #7 and remained there for about a day or so. I can never thank everyone enough for their love in a time which I really needed it. Only a handful of friends reached out, but a handful is four more than what I thought I had. Don’t get offended, I just have a unique way of defining ‘friend’. Real friends have seen each other naked and didn’t cringe in the process. Everyone else is just acquaintances.

Where do we go from here? Unknown. The road ahead is murky and treacherous. Fortunately, the navigation is not up to me. I’m just along for the ride, wherever that may lead. Will I be victorious in the end? I already am.

Hundreds of authors have borne witness to the horrors of cancel culture at the hands of a major corporation. I can’t imagine I’ll be able to smack around the organization in a state which just legalized the demand for the ten commandments to be displayed in every classroom in the year 2023. Also, good luck trying to find the owner of the fake Tik Tok account @kaileysmith75 in any sort of legal manner. I have my suspicions, though. I solve fictional mysteries, after all. Imagine what I can do with freaking facts!

Photo by Mathias Reding on

Bar your windows, lock your doors, and break out those pen names, ladies and gentlemen. The Bible Boys are coming for your art, and they have the financial support of a country I no longer recognize. There’s no stopping them. The end of all we once knew is nigh. It began with social media, but it will end with Nazi knocks upon your own abodes. God reigns supreme in a modern world with the technology to properly question her existence.

Wealthy fiction trumps starving artists.


That’s funny.

Tomorrow is another day. The real challenge is how I’ll proceed through today without screaming to the heavens how I’ve been wronged and ignored. I never wanted to be the martyr of the horror industry. I just wanted to write and drive a train. I don’t think it’s too much to ask, really.

Photo by Nikolai Ulltang on

According to psychology, the five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

I’ve never been one of those people who proceed to step five. To hell with acceptance. Stand for what you believe in with angry eyes and prepare yourself for the impact of modern society’s battering ram.

The C. Derick Miller five stages of grief are fuck you, blow me, hell no, not happening, and I fucking dare you.


PS – I still have free Audible codes for Starving Zoe aka “The story too sick for Six Flags”.


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