Jesus fucking Christ, it’s done! It’s fucking done! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
I HAVE EX’OR’CIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISED THE DEMONNNNNNNNNNSSSSSSSSSSSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!¡!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
wHAT A FUCK oh sorry, what a fucking gauntlet. Sweet lord. It was so much. It honestly wasn’t even that much. Physically. Mentally, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah that’s a different story, but physically it wasn’t that bad. It took me about a month to get the big book done between going back and finishing the first 3 books and then doing all the scratches. Sweet Christ the scratches took a lot of effort. Cannabis and effort. A LOT of cannabis, like, ALL the fucking cannabis. So much cannabis I’m smoking goddamn mids to level myself back out.
So the first thing I wrote were the stories from |The Sideshows|. Most of them. Some of them. At least half, I think. Might have been closer to a third to be honest, I don’t remember. But I wrote the stories first. I knew I was going to write a huge-ass novel and I knew it was going to intersect with the stories, and that’s really all I knew. The first story I wrote was A Shame Indeed. Or… no, maybe not. It might have been Turbulence, which started out as Airborne. I could get my shoebox full of notebooks I keep under my bed out from under my bed and check the specific order, but that kind of shit doesn’t matter. I wrote some of Arc V first, that’s what you need to know.
Next came the poems. I posted the poems on WordPress, on this blog, actually. This blog has went through a lot of changes since I first started it. If this isn’t your first rendition of The Note then you know what I’m talking about – I used to be nuts, ‘man. Like, in need of help mentally ill lmao. And I got the help I needed: writing, specifically The Highest One Writing. We’re in the behind the scenes thing now, so imma just say this: THOW saved me from killing myself. 100% legitimately. I was going nowhere, I was miserable, I was isolated and extremely unstable and it got bad, ‘man, it got really fucking bad for a while there. Really, really fucking bad. But uh, I was never really alone. I had Chuck Leary and all my other characters from Universe W-2020 to keep me company. Chuck saved my life, and part of me is convinced he came to me through my late cat Milkshake. Milkshake died before I started putting the books out, he was only 5. Sudden blood clot/heart failure. Both The 2020 Event |The Sideshows| and The Highest One Writing are dedicated to him, he was my best friend. If it weren’t for Milkshake I never would have started writing. That little dude showed me how to be myself, he was everything to me.
I got off track. So yeah, I wrote the poems and I was posting them on my website, and then I got inspired to write the running book. I was a volunteer cross country coach at the time, that probably had something to do with it. After Running came Roadtrip, and after Roadtrip I unpublished them both and reworked them into |The Unvictimized Edition| and The ¡Gramango! Edition, respectively. When I first put out the running and roadtrip books, I didn’t know they were going… well, okay, I did. Some of the answers in the interviews chapter of the running book are given by characters in T2E, and Chuck appears in Roadtrip. It was like… it was like I didn’t understand what I was building, but I knew I was building something. Same thing with the poems, I wrote them all just ’cause they came to me – the essays too – and then when I looked at them all together I was like “Huh, I could make a book out of this.” So I did.
After the poetry book I got right into T2E. I remember the experience of writing it so vivdly: a month and a half of 12 hour days sitting on my lower back on a pile of couch cushions I was using as a chair at the time. I wrote that fucker in 6 weeks, no bullshit, and it took me the next 3 years of my life to finish. This book is the one that almost broke me. None of the others fuck with me as hard as T2E |TME|. I didn’t even bother updating the page on my website with the new text to be honest, I can’t look at it anymore. It literally changes how my brain works, it drags me back to the past in a way I’m not interested in being dragged anymore. The past is over, it’s dead, ‘man, and sometimes dead is better. Word to Stephen King, sometimes dead is fucking better.
The Abusive Runner’s Log was made over the course of a day in a half for no reason other than the fact that I wanted to release 5 books in my first year of putting books out. Long live Footsie The Running Shoe and all his many emotions, I don’t regret a single fucking thing.
After |TME| was done I slowly got into |TS|. I was also trying to write The Monksville Chronicles at the time, it was very scrambled. But I wrote the rest of the stories for |TS|, wrote Boardtrip (the back-book, what will probably be remembered as my magnum opus, knowing the human race) and then boom. Existence reset, The Garden is born.
The last book of THOW is only cautiously part of THOW. There’s a character in THOW named Hilter Odolf Williamson – initials HOW, almost like I’m going for something there – and after Existence reset, I wanted to give him a new life, a new chance at fiction. Part of the whole “Existential Reset” thing is echoes; basically, I’m going to sort of reuse a lot of the ideas and characters and settings from the preExistence part of THOW in The Garden. I say sort of because anything I reuse gets totally repurposed, I’m talkin’ 100% hollowed and rebuilt from the core out. So yeah, I wanted to give my little Hilter Odolf Williamson his time on the page. The stories and plots in CoIn were all based off random resale shit I had at the time – a bat dagger, some old Lake George coasters, uhhh… an egg-shaped hunk of white quartz from the mountains. I just fabricated some backwoods nonsense around the objects and all the stories wound up being interconnected. It was supposed to be a short story anthology at first, and it still sort of is, but it’s also sort of a novel. It’s a cool book. I’m pretty proud of Convenient Incidents, you don’t expect it to go the places it goes when you’re reading it.
What else? I could mention inspiration, I suppose. Chuck Leary came from Grand Theft Auto 5. My GTA online character was a dude who always wore a black suit with a black fedora, big black sunshades, straight longish black hair. Sometimes a black tie, sometimes a purple tie. No matter how many times he got shot or blown up or whatever, he just kept coming back to life, and all he did was fly around the city on jetbikes killing folks, selling drugs, and causing general mayhem. Ladies and gentlemen, Chuck Leary. In the books I made him deeper, of course – body composed of nanobots, extremely traumatic family life/past that left him unhinged and unimaginably wealthy; a god held back by his emotions, essentially, and he even gets to meet his creator. Spoiler alert, Chuck Leary actually kills his creator. Punches him in the forehead so hard he caves the shit in. That moment broke Chuck. That moment is what eventually convinced him to press the button that reset Existence, I think. Writing Chuck’s story broke me, so I had to break him back. It was only fair.
He says as if he actually came up with any of this.
A theme I bring up a few times in THOW is the fact that the process of creating all of this fiction doesn’t feel like creation. It feels like translation. Cards on the table, I’m legitimately convinced that thoughts are living things, that they come to us from elsewhere, hunker down in the backs of our minds, and eventually grow and evolve into proper ideas, and from there they just keep on growing. As a creator, I am taking thoughts and ideas from the metaphysical plane and working with them to build a vessel for them to inhabit in this world, a vessel which will allow the idea to be shared with the rest of humanity. I genuinely believe that is the purpose of artists and really humans in general, to harbor ideas that only we can harbor and then release them into the world in a way they can be shared with others. Now, does that mean the ideas we share are necessarily for the greater good of humanity? I have no idea. Maybe, maybe not. Who the fuck am I to say, I’m only a human. I believe writing THOW and making the 7-in-1 book with the hand-done chapter heads and shit was part of my purpose in life, 110%, nothing else makes any sense, this is an inane amount of work and I tried my best to avoid doing it, but it called to me, I was literally pulled, my hand was forced. As far as THOW goes, I needed to write it, but I don’t know that the reason behind that need necessarily extends beyond the bounds of myself. Sure, if you read it you’ll probably get something out of it. Maybe it’ll inspire you, maybe it’ll be your favorite. But is it going to change the world? Mehhhhhh, I really doubt it. It’s a crazy story and yeah, it’s literal proof of concept that anything is possible if you work hard enough, I never took a creative writing class in my life and English was always my worst subject and then I decided I wanted to be a writer, so I did the work and became one, but like… its just a story. Just a book series. Just the thing one bookmaker made to teach himself how to make books. Just a thing some random dude did to put off killing himself until he didn’t want to kill himself anymore. Massively important for me, like, life-defining, like, more important to me than eating. But for everyone else? I don’t know, ‘man. From my perspective, as far as other folks’ perceptions go, THOW is literally nothing. Less than nothing. The product of a probably schizophrenic indie writer who edits his own work. Very important to me, though. Perhaps more important than anybody could ever understand. Perhaps more important to me than anybody else needs to understand.
And perhaps that’s the point.
As far as literary inspiration, there is one single author I must credit, for without his work I would have no work done: ladies and gentlemen, Mister David Wong, aka Jason Pargin, author of (1) John Dies at the End, (2) This Book is Full of Spiders, Seriously Dude, Don’t Touch It, (4) What the Hell Did I Just Read, (3) Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, and his latest work (5) Zoey Punches the Future in the Dick. The first three are the John Dies at the End series (book 4 on the way, I think), the second two are the Zoey Ashe series. FVaFS inspired me to create New Manhattan, and I dropped a reference to FVaFS’s villain during a villain monologue in |TME|. JDatE inspired me to write in the first place. Were it not for JDatE, I would not have kept writing. Milkshake (and cannabis and acid) got me to start writing, David Wong inspired me to keep going, and Stephen King taught me to love it more than anything else. I first found out about JDatE through the movie – it’s a movie – a friend showed it to me when I was stoned through the bones, and I don’t think I was ever the same after that to tell you the truth. LOL but no, probably a year or 2 after I saw the movie I learned it was a book first, so I decided to get the book. Read that motherfuck of a thing from cover to cover multiple times, it’s so fucking fantastic, but it wasn’t the story itself that inspired me. David Wong put a note in the back, and it said something like “the only reason this exists is word of mouth. if I can do this, anybody can, YOU CAN!!!” and for whatever reason, it fucking connected with me. Hit me over the goddamn head like a golden brick. It’s possible, ‘man, if I do the work and never give up then it’s absolutely fucking possible. David Wong said so, for fuck’s sake, and he wrote John Dies at the End!!!
Another inspiration was Aldous Huxley, believe it or not. Specifically because of his novel Island. I read that probably half a decade ago and I still think about it, it’s the antithesis to Brave New World, it describes an island utopia and again, same thing with David Wong, the shit just hit me. I literally think about the society of Pala almost every day of my life, it’s kind of wild how much that book impacted me. It’s like… Huxley wrote it in the 60s, right? It was his last book, it was the sum of all his experiences – including his experimentation with psychedelic drugs, the ‘man had his wife shoot him up with LSD on his way through the veil, you know it’s really no surprise why he inspires me so much – and it was an example of true utopia. I remember I watched a video of Alan Watts discussing it – Alan Watts talking about the work of Aldous Huxley, this is PRIME larval Hunter A. Wallace shit right here – and Watts said something along the lines of “Now what Huxley did was very brave, very powerful. Something not many of us do. He gave us Brave New World, he outlined in brilliant detail everything about our society that he detests, okay, he said Well you all do it wrong, look at this here, and then he took it a step further. Then he did what most of us won’t, if we’re even capable of it at all: he wrote Island. He said No, you don’t do it right at all… but perhaps you could. Here’s how.” That’s obviously not what Alan Watts said word for word, but you get the gist. And the thing is, the utopia in Island is a utopia, like, a feasible human utopia. I’m not going to get into it, I didn’t write the damn thing, but it’s an incredible read and it’s safe to say it changed the course of my life. Just like David Wong’s work, just like Stephen King’s work, just like Joe Hawley’s work, just like me doing my own work. Feed your soul, folks, lest the mind rot with the body.
Hm, what else… well, Rick and Morty was a pretty big inspiration for me. I think that had more to do with the acid though. The acid, ‘man… I took about 9 trips over the course of 6ish months, only about half of which were real LSD (if that), and that shit… try it once. It should be a requirement that every human undergoes an LSD or mushroom trip. It opens doors, ‘man. It lets you understand things on such a different level… it’s not even about the hallucinations, either. Like, the visuals are great, the drug part of the trip is great, but there’s so much more than that. Acid gave me religion, it gave me spirituality, it gave me the will and the drive to pursue this bookmaking thing I’ve built for myself. It’s beyond words. I haven’t taken any psychedelics aside from cannabis since my last acid trip; I’d like to dip my toes in the water again one day, but when I have a better set and setting to do so with. Preferably somewhere I can maxx out and write. I want to write on mushrooms and acid, ‘man, imagine the shit I could come up with writing on acid and mushrooms. I like writing sober, but I also like writing high. And writing during a trip. It’s a different experience, and the results you get can be so fuckin’, just… so psychedelic. So fucking strange.
I keep getting off base, so I think that means this is done. I don’t know, what else do you want? If you have questions or anything, leave ’em in the comments. I’ll give you a like at the very least. Until then, though, I’ll bring this to a close by summing up The Highest One Writing in 6 words: fiction books, psychedelic drugs, and psychephrenia. This has been Hunter A. Wallace, the guy who’s life led him to do what he does.
Actually, one last thing I want to address. Why now? Why THOW, and why now? The series was done last year and it went nowhere, why bother? Well… because now is the time. It’s 13 o’clock , you son of a bitch, now:00 to the second, and there is no better time than the present moment. Also, before I started working on the 7-1, I was at a nexus. I have what will now be my 13th book (and how fitting of a 13th book it is, there’s a character called The Whoreson who’s described as “the deviant bulldyke of Wuester” for Christ’s sake) all written and ready for editing, but I also have all this old work that technically isn’t done. I could do it in the future when I have money and The Hillside Commons is something and yad’a’yo, but… I didn’t want to. From the moment I actually realized what I was doing with THOW I knew exactly what the final product was going to be: all the books in 1, done up like a psycho made it. THOW is part of my past and I want to keep it there. If and when I do get my own place and The Hillside Commons does go somewhere, I don’t want to be wasting my time finishing up old shit. I want to be making new shit, brilliant amazing new shit that I love more than my old shit. THOW is special to me, but I want something else to be more. And something else will be more. I have the plans.
So I was at a nexus, you see: about to move forever forward, I looked into my pack. It was full of papers old and ashes gray and black. I looked ahead up the path and back down to the dirt; thus the clouds part overhead, sun fill my mind with mirth. I couldn’t take the old with me anymore, couldn’t bear the weight. How are you going to store a fresh ounce of pot if all your jars are full? What are you gonna do, keep it in the fuckin’ bag? Christ on a biscuit, ‘man, it was evolve or stagnate and there was only one choice to make.
You get that? You read that last line right? There was only one choice to make, my fellow ‘man; it took everything I had, and I am Goddamn glad I made it.
Since you’re there, noted reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~