Mark Matthews's Blog, page 8

June 13, 2014

I was at a training by Claudia Black and heard her explain how if a mother or father gets high on heroin, they are abandoning their own child as much as if they had left them in a dumpster. As a recovering alcoholic, for me to put a substance in my body would feel just the same. Fortunately, my children have only known me sober, and I plan to keep it that way. 

Here's a powerful video about a father who got sober during his child's early years, but did not stay that way. I found the poem and performance incredibly moving. Happy Father's Day. 
Patrick Roche - "21" (CUPSI 2014)
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Published on June 13, 2014 07:13 • 47 views

June 10, 2014

Love this quote, and experience tells me it is true. When you are busy you are most productive. Right on the verge of combusting, but moving fast enough that all your engines are firing.  You use your time more efficiently and are always planning ahead, doing the 7 habits of highly effective people most effectively.
Over the last 2 months when I wasn't running, I had hours of time slots per week that were usually taken up by running, but I didn’t accomplish much more with the time. Time sped up while I slowed down. I just started running this week, and I can already feel the difference. My neurons fire a bit faster. The synapses snap to a bigger beat. I have a touch more bravado and a sprinkle more courage and confidence. It just gets your blood flowing, gives more focus, detoxes the evil out so you can attack things with more precision. Multi-tasking becomes natural.
Just ten miles last week did this. I’m working as author/publisher getting ready to release MILK-BLOOD, working with the editor, formatting copies, writing out guest blog posts. (Plus there's my nightly meeting with the devil, 12 pm midnight sharp.)  It's also the end of the school year which means classroom parties, band concerts, ceremonies. Plus the mandatory Game of Thrones viewing, catching up on Silicon Valley, watching the Stanley Cup, and reading for an hour a day. If I hadn't taken three runs this week, I'd accomlish much less. 

 Running actually doesn’t take from your time, it gives you more time by slowing things down while speeding you up. That's why during marathon training, your whole world seems so intense. The intensity of training bleeds into everything you do. 
If you want something done, ask a runner person.
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Published on June 10, 2014 06:47 • 14 views

June 6, 2014

ON THE LIPS OF CHILDREN is One Years Old today!
Happy Birthday to you, Cha Cha Cha
*Smashes its face into cake*

On June 6th, 2013, the book was published, and what a cool year it has been. The novel has received 68 reviews, 34 of them five stars, 30 of them four stars, and 1 glorious one star review that I have tattooed on my arse, word for word. The book's received some great praise from book reviewers, horror websites, run bloggers, and has been as high as the number three suspense/horror novel on amazon.

What perhaps is most important is that this is just so God-Damned FUN!!! To write and not be read saddens me, so I am ecstatic that the book is being read and the words are now scattered like ashes across the brains of humans everywhere.

When I first wrote this book, I was on the fence wether to self-publish or not, and am very grateful that Richard Thomas alerted me to the open submissions over at Books of the Dead Press, and that they agreed to publish the book. They've taught me so much, I've meet some great people and authors, and I'm kind of digging it. The excitement has certainly boiled over, and my next book will be on amazon next month.

I am so grateful for the support I've received from some awesome Run Bloggers, Book Bloggers, and for the book-signing opportunity from Running Fit, the premier shoe store in Michigan (the book is on their shelves!) and from so many awesome people at goodreads.

Here's a list of THANK YOU's with links, and I'm grateful for all of you. (Sorry for anyone I may have missed.)
The Horror News Network
Liz Loves Books
Shana Festa at The Bookie-Monster
Jeff at Detroit Runner
Ty at TyRunman
Author David Ecles
An Eclective Bookshelf
A Readers Review Blog
The Horror Honeys
Author and Editor Weston Kincade
Author Jan Kozlowski
Author Michael Garza
Author Michele Miller
Author Julie Hutchings
Salty Running (Halloween Contest)
Author John F.D. Taff
Author Chris Irvin
Author Bracken MacLeod
Cassie's House of Horrors
Senor Zombie
Author Trista Borgwardt
Running Fit
The Horror Bookshelf
Promote Horror
Reviewer David Spell 
Ravenous Reads
Char's Horror Corner
Miss Zippy
Author Sacha Scoblic
Dawna from The Kindle Book Review
Jill Will Run
Nikki at Horror After Dark 

I really appreciate your support. You're good people, and you won the chocolate factory, and if interested, also a copy of my next book:

MILK-BLOOD Coming in July

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Published on June 06, 2014 08:51 • 50 views

June 4, 2014

"I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains, I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain. There's more than one answer to these questions pointing me in crooked line." ~The Indigo Girls  
"Scar tissue that I wish you saw." ~The Red Hot Chili Peppers
National Running Day! To me, this is like St. Patrick's day is for alcoholics, just another day to do our thing but reflect more on doing it. Fortunately, I have just started running after a 45 day lay off due to injury.

I went on my second run of the week. First one was a 3 miler, and today it was 4.

I was going to write a long story about my injury, but I will try to sum it up quickly.  Doctors are just people dressed up as doctors. Sometimes they say you have a tear in your quad, but it's an old tear that has healed over from the many weeks in a row you've already taken off running over the past year and a half.  That white mass they see on the MRI is scar tissue. Or it could be a smudge of spilled chobani yogurt. Either way, it is not a muscle that is still torn, even if their doctorate degree tells you so.

The tear in my quad was there indeed, but now it’s a muscle-hampering burning golf-ball sized piece of scar tissue. I learned that after many adventures to find a cure. I visited dark alleys, a couple of fortune tellers, a sage on a mountain top with poor wireless connections, but the best help I've found is at Tri-Covery massage right in my back yard.

For the last 3 weeks, I've been getting the scar tissue massaged out of me. When I say massage, you may think it is comforting, but it is painful. An elbow digs and grinds into the spot and it slowly dissipates. I laugh to make it hurt less, and do my best to not tighten and fight it. I can feel it in there, like a little baby alien ready to burst out of me, only it is fading, and will soon be gone. 

I would never have discovered this problem had I not asked for help from other runners. Advice from runners can be a tricky thing. The only thing more annoying than "always gives advice Runner Guy" is "always one-ups you Runner Guy". But I’ve been hitting up others openly, including blogger TyRunman and  Cait Chock and getting much needed thoughts.

My best thinking got me here, so I needed help. 

Cait Chock, the only creator of a comic book designed for runners on the earth,  was one of the first who mentioned the scar tissue thing. This was something the doctors and specialists didn't even bother with, for they were too busy trying to fix my knee. ("It's not the knee, it's the muscle tissue," I said to more than one doctor, but the myth of poor runner's knee persists).

Of course, this all could be a false positive, but every time I walk into Tri-Covery massage the burning mass of molten evil ju-ju is getting smaller and smaller, and it has helped more than the mutliple doctors I have seen. Had I followed the Orthopedic specialist from the renowned Core Institute, I would just be resting and nothing would change.

If you are within a stones throw of Novi, Run, don't walk over to Tri-Covery Massage . Kelsey has been the one working on me and I've made promises to pay her multiple thousands if she gets me running again (shhhh, I can't afford that, but don't let her know) but all their staff are wicked smart and good.

Thanks to them, to Cait, I'm hoping I can complain about regular niggles and not this one ever again.

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Published on June 04, 2014 10:20 • 18 views

May 30, 2014

I am all set up for Run Disney 2015. 

I am registered for the Marathon. I have picked out my flights, have a deposit on the hotel and park ticket package. We are staying at the Port Orleans resort, going to the park for 5 days, and running a kids race with the family at Disney Wide World of Sports. I have my mickey ears with my name embroidered on the back to wear while I run the marathon. We even plan to spend one day at Universal Studios to play some Quidditch.

Bamn! #RunDisney done up right.

The only thing that is missing is that I am not running, and have not run a mile in 45 days. I suppose you call that faith. Faith is trying to cross the ocean without a boat. Jump in the air, start rowing, and before you hit the water, the boat will appear. Then again, Faith without works is dead, and I have now turned my will and my running life over to the care of Tri-covery massage who have secrets nobody else seems to know. Results are promising, and it just confirms to me that Doctors are just people dressed up as doctors.  Stay tuned. 

**Also, a big shout out and huge thank you to blogger Miss Zippy for her review of On the Lips of Children on her blog today. Thanks Amanda!  Check it out and the other running book she highly recommends for folks like me who moan about their injuries a bit too much --> Running + Reading = Perfect Combo

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Published on May 30, 2014 11:37 • 12 views

May 29, 2014

My friend, fellow author, and owner/operator of the site , Shana Festa, has a new book out this week. I have been doing book reviews for Bookie-Monster the last several months, and Shana has been such a pleasure to work with. If you are open to it, they are accepting requests for reviewers. (click here). Promise it will be as great an experience you will have doing book reviews for any site out there.

Now Shana has signed a deal with Permuted Press, and has her own book on a topic she has a PHD on, Zombie Fiction. In the history of all time, and a little bit before then even, I don't think there's ever been an author more set up than Shana Is for this release. In her role as Bookie-monster owner/operator, she's undoubtedly made contacts with a million publishers and a billion authors. I invite you to check out Bookie-Monster and the novel, "Time of Death"

Here's the offical press release from Permuted Press, the leader in Zombie Fiction.

When no one or nowhere is safe, where do you go to escape the monsters?
In a few short days, 37 year old Emma Rossi’s hard work will finally pay off. She will don her cap and gown and graduate with a degree in nursing, but not before she loses her first patient and is confronted with a new reality. In Cape Coral, Florida, a storm approaches. The dead are coming back to life.
And they’re hungry.
Infection ravages the Eastern Seaboard with alarming speed while attempts to contain the spread of infection fail. Within days, a small pocket of panicked survivors are all that remain of civilization. Fighting to survive the zombie apocalypse alongside her husband Jake and their dog Daphne, Emma comes face-to-face with her worst nightmare.
Relying on snarky wit and sheer determination, she is forced to commit atrocious acts to protect her family and avoid joining the ranks of the undead.

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Published on May 29, 2014 06:27 • 18 views

May 26, 2014

This week is the Rock n’ Roll San Diego Marathon. The run takes place on June 1st.

The San Diego marathon is the event that Macon from my novel, On the Lips of Children , planned to run in order to prove himself. Finishing the marathon was to be a test of his strength and perseverance.
But during a shake-out run the day before, Macon falls prey to a bizarre family living in a San Diego to Tijuana drug tunnel, and he gets tested in more ways than he could have ever imagined. 26.2 miles never hurt like this.

If you're reading this and running the San Diego marathon (or half), send an email to and I’ll gift you a kindle version. Grab a copy now, and you'll be done reading by Sunday, and the event will seem like a breeze.  I can’t think of any better way to taper proper.

Email your first and last name so I can confirm you are registered, and you’ll receive a gift right back.
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Published on May 26, 2014 19:07 • 24 views

May 22, 2014

As I go into my 5th week of no running (besides a few strides), I have this fear in the back of my head that my running life is over. That whatever I return to will be so far from what it was, that I can barely call it running. Instead, my legs are on their death bed. My running life is taking in its last breath, and the highlights are flashing in front of my eyes (as happens in death, so we hear)

Here are the moments that I expect to see:
Grand Rapids Marathon 2010This was the Boston Qualifier race that I sought after for ten years. There is a moment in the race I will never forget around the 21 mile mark. I KNEW I was going to make my BQ time. I didn’t THINK I could make it, which had happened so many times before, but I knewit. I raised my fist in triumph and felt such a swell of Godly Mojo.
Boston Marathon 2010I will never forget the start. It was like visiting a post card, and when the jets flew overhead I realized it wasn’t a daydream. The finish line on Boylston street had the energy of a blackhole and sucked in runners with such force to the end of the race. All of us willing. Permanent memory burn.   Cruising to the Boston FinishDetroit Marathon 2000 and beyondI was so terrified my first marathon in Detroit, but it was around mile 15 when I felt as good as if I had just started running, and I finally let myself relax and take it all in. I ran with tears to the end. Crossing the Ambassador Bridge over the Detroit River makes for a perfect morning. When the sun rises while you cross the bridge with the raging river below, it’s like God waking up to peek at you with a glowing orange eyeball and saying, “well done, my son, well done.”  New York City Marathon 2012 and 2013 I will never forget the canceled marathon day, and the ‘run anyway” central park miles so many runners put in. Best analogy is it was like Who-ville when the Grinch tried to steal the presents of Christmas, but couldn’t take the joy away. A year later, the start of the New York marathon over the Verrazano bridge with cannons booming and helicopters hovering and the New York Cityscape on the horizon was an out of body experience. The run through Brooklyn was perhaps my favorite running portion of any race ever. I smacked hands of every Brooklyn resident I could, and I am sure they are now spreading the dust of my fingerprints across the big apple even now.   Slapping hands in Brooklyn Chicago Marathon 2001- BQ failure (first of many failed attempts)Chicago was my first big city marathon, and the expo was like stumbling upon buried treasure. I was in awe. As for race day, I don’t think I was ever so determined in my life to accomplish something. At mile 20, when I felt the BQ time slipping away, I tapped into my primordial muck way deep below the surface that I otherwise never would have known existed. I pushed my legs such that they cramped and bulged as if a human head were trying to emerge from the muscle. I pissed blood. I become a Zombie the last mile, begging to be shot in the head. It was not to be, but  I learned a great lesson. I was in 3:10 shape easy during training but ran my best race the last 20 miler rather than waiting for the event day. We learn more by failing than fear of failing. Odd how a marathon PR, (3:17 in this case), is remembered as a failure.
Walt Disney Marathon 2015 Oh the joy! The shiny, happy people, dressed in running gear and character costume, cruising by Space Mountain and through Cinderella's Castle, hitting all the parks and running through them like I've always dreamed. It was so much fun!  I am glad I wore the Pluto ears rather than the Mickey ears during the race (Pluto hardly gets enough play). The next day I walked through the parks with my kids and enjoyed the rides with a new pleasure.
Hey, wait! This hasn't happened yet! 

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Published on May 22, 2014 08:58 • 19 views

May 20, 2014

I never watched American Idol until this season. I could not have told you a single thing about it even after hours of torture. But this season, someone from my hometown is the finalist and I've been watching closely the last few weeks.
Jena at the local High SchoolYou can't shoot a snot-rocket in this town without hitting a "Vote for Jena Irene" poster. She's everywhere. And the funny thing is, all of a sudden, everybody knows her and is her friend. Any store you go into: a bakery, a barber, a grocery store, they all claim that "Jena used to shop here/eat here/visit here/work here when she was younger." Everyone's proud, and rightly so, because she's got more talent that this town should allow. Seeing her grandparents watch her perform at North Farmington High and bust out in tears of joy made me bust out in tears of joy. (my wife suspects I'm going through menopause.)

I feel ya man. Her competition, Caleb Johnson, is a damn powerful singer himself. His version of "Dazed and Confused" was inspiring, but he seems to me more of the perfect front man for a Led Zeppelin cover band than an artist in his own right. Jena's version of Elvis's "Can't Help Falling in Love" and Radiohead's "Creep"  have her personage stamped all over it.

Of course,  I am a bit biased. Did I mention Jena used to babysit my kids when she was younger?
Yo, Vote for Jena
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Published on May 20, 2014 11:44 • 34 views

May 19, 2014

The folks over at The Horror Bookshelf: A Blog Dedicated to Dark Fiction, have named MILK-BLOOD one of the most anticipated reads of summer saying:

I read Matthews’ prequel, The Damage Done (available for free on Amazon), and it blends the horrors of addiction with a supernatural element to create a unique and horrifying short story that sets the stage for Milk-Blood, which is sure to be a truly terrifying and gripping read from this extremely talented author.

 Check the blog out here

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Published on May 19, 2014 06:04 • 18 views