Saturday, October 30, 2010

12 year old plots to kill students, family...

I just found this article moments ago, and this one. The articles talk of a 12 year old boy who plotted the murder of at least 20 of his fellow middle school students. He had guns and a list with names of kids he wanted to kill, and was probably just waiting for the right moment. Incredibly, parents of the targets on the list now play victim in the media. The boy's plot was discovered after he allegedly 'bullied' girls on the bus to school, and threatened to kill. But what drives a young boy to a point where he wants to kill other kids? That's the question people should ask, instead of seeing the boy as a deranged potential killer. Surely, this boy has psychological problems, and his home situation is probably not ideal, but this boy is also clearly a victim.

If a kid plans to kill a whole list of other kids it's not because he thinks these kids wear the wrong clothes, or that he just doesn't like them. It is because he was systematically being bullied. This boy was driven to a point where he could only see one way out of his predicament, and that was by killing his tormentors. The sad part is that now he's being portrayed in the media as an aggressor, while he was the victim for a long time. I don't know this boy, and I just read a a few articles about him, but from the elements I take out of these news articles I can understand his story.

I wrote it.

Just scroll down, and you'll understand that I know what I'm talking about. My novel PAINTING BY NUMBERS is this exact story. While Seth, the protagonist in Painting by numbers is two years older, I'm fairly certain that he and the boy from Carnation WA have a lot in common. Of course, Seth has some additional problems that are his own, but I read the Carnation boy was living with an adoptive mother and recently tried to strangle his 12 year old sister, so I think it's safe to conclude that he was having some serious problems at home as well. I wrote Painting by numbers partly from my own experiences with bullying, and I have been at a point where I just wanted to kill all my tormentors as well. I never got that far, but I can understand someone who does.

If people would just take a closer look at this boy and his motivations, they may see what was really going on. In the last few weeks bullying has been getting a lot of media attention, but apparently not enough. If schools would pay more attention to bullying, and systematically pick out the bullies and educate them, some kids may possible be stopped from committing suicide, and boys like the one in Carnation WA won't be driven to make hit lists of their bullies, and being labeled as aggressors instead of as victims.

What is even more sad is that this boy is in a juvenile detention center right now, instead of a specialized psychological treatment facility. I'm fairly certain the boy has been put on medication, but I wonder what impact juvy hall will have on him. Surely it won't help getting him back on track. Since he hasn't committed any actual crimes, he will probably soon be released, and then what? I fear that if this boy is not properly treated by experts rather than the community shrink, this is not the last time we will hear of him.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


When you're a kid, you can't always foresee the consequences of your actions. This is why you're not allowed to do things like drink alcohol, or drive, or have sex, until a certain, older, age. Your brain needs time to mature, and no matter how mature you believe you are, your brain can still be in transition. When you're a teenager you may get the idea that you're somehow invincible, that you can ride a motorbike at full speed without a helmet, that you can do a wheelie with your bike in traffic, that you can jump off a flight of stairs with your skateboard without any protection, or that you can stand on the edge of a roof of a tall building without holding on to something. Some kids push other kids to do things, or just push, without thinking about the possible consequences.

After thirteen year old Seth Walsh from California committed suicide, his classmates reportedly said that they weren't aware that their actions could actually cause Seth to kill himself. And this is something that always comes up, that most bullies do not know how far their bullying can push their victims. But in the meantime the bullying goes on, and kids find themselves pushed into a deep dark corners of which they see no way out.

When I was a kid I was frequently bullied. It started in elementary school where I was harassed for reasons I still don't quite understand. I'm not gay, but you really don't have to be gay to be bullied. I do remember having been accused of being gay, probably just because it makes an easy target and an easy laugh. I was different though. I liked to read and had a bigger vocabulary than most, and probably already spoke my mind when I was young, which is one thing that may have attracted some attention. I lived in my own little world, sometimes setting myself apart from my classmates and friends whenever I would drift away in my thoughts. I don't remember all of it, it's been so long, but I do remember certain moments of being bullied. I remember sitting on the ground surrounded by a group of kids, kicking and screaming at me. Even kids I called friends. I remember many times being on the run, and hiding out in bushes or in trees to escape my tormentors. I remember one time when an older guy cornered me with his friends, and forced me to open my mouth so he could spit in it. The earliest memory I have of being bullied was when I was barely five years old, when I was pushed into a pond by some kids while I couldn't even swim yet, and having to explain my wet clothes at home. I was punished because my clothes had gotten wet, while I could have drowned that day. Somehow I made it out of the water, kicking my legs and arms like a dog. The other kids first laughed at me but ran away when they saw I couldn't swim, and I had to climb out of the pond alone. I remember how difficult it was, how high the edge seemed, and how terrified I was. But, if I was being bullied at 5 years old, there must have been something about me that made me stand out. I'll probably never know exactly what it was, but I was different somehow.

As I got older and went to middle school, the bullying continued, especially when I was placed in a class with mostly older kids who had been left back once or twice already. I was small for my age, so that made me an easy target for these boys, most of whom were already fully grown. I can remember all the times I didn't want to go to school. That I'd rather play sick, or just skip school and stay out in the streets for the day, just so I didn't have to face my tormentors. And I did, many times. There was a lot more going on in my life, and being bullied only added to my daily anguish. I had two ways of escape. The first was my fantasy world in which I wasn't afraid of anything or anyone, and could face any danger or anyone who had ever made my life miserable. The other was writing. I wrote a lot in my early teenage years, some of which I used in my novel 'Painting by numbers', which has its roots in my history as a victim of bullying. But writing also gave me a possibility to vent, because whom else could I talk to? Certainly not the school 'counselor' who, when I was fourteen, told me I should stand up for myself, and be more aggressive. He literally told me to 'fight back'. That's great thing to tell a kid with a death wish. In 'Painting by numbers' Seth Mason fights back. One day he walks into his high school and shoots everyone in sight. I could have been Seth Mason if I had access to guns, because that's how much hatred had built inside of me. I started carrying a knife to school with the thought that, if I was able to pull it out of my pocket when cornered again, I was going to use it.

Luckily, I never did. Shortly after my talk with the 'counselor', I was cornered again, right outside a classroom. Teachers were around, but none had ever even tried to stop anything, and I wasn't counting on them this time either. There were about 5 or 6 of my usual bullies, all older, bigger, and stronger. And they knew they had power over me, they already had it for over a year. It started out with words but quickly became physical, as it often did. I never fought back, afraid that if I did, I would get beaten harder. What made me fight back that day I still don't understand. But, once I had been pushed around for a while, which turned into punching and kicking, suddenly everything turned black. I focused on one guy, and with all that I had, I started punching him in the face. I remember seeing how surprised everyone was, that this smallish kid would just fight back. It didn't even take much, a few blows to the face and he went down. I remember the feeling I had, shaking, in tears, and scared shitless of what was going to happen to me next. I was expecting the guy to get up and beat me to pulp, and that everyone would join in, right there in front of the classroom. But he didn't. He stayed on the ground. I knew that if they would start beating me up, I would fight to the death. My knife was in my bag on the ground, and I was slowly going for it. Before I could reach it, and to my great surprise, everyone started to laugh. They laughed at the guy on the ground, not at me, and from one moment to the next it was all over. Still, I was afraid they would get me again another day, and better this time, so I kept walking around with my knife in my pocket for weeks. But that was the last time I was bullied. They never tried again. Apparently, my sudden aggression had either scared them off, or I had finally gained their respect.

I'm not saying that every bullied kid should fight back. You don't stop bullying with bullying. I'd much rather see adults react when confronted with bullying of kids. To be honest, I don't think bullying will ever stop, but we CAN stop bullying getting to a point where victims want to kill themselves. Many, if not most individual cases of bullying can be stopped. If parents, teachers, and all adults take notice when someone is being targeted for sexuality, for physical reasons, or any reason at all, and if those adults respond by either talking to the bullies, or reporting them to the school staff, in addition to talking to the victim, then maybe they can stop someone else from taking his or her life. Bullies should be taught the possible consequences of their actions, and the bullied must understand that it won't last forever. Life goes on, and really does get better. As soon as the bullying stopped and the pressure was off, going to school wasn't so bad anymore, and two years later I was in a  new class with the best group of friends I ever had in my teen years.

Personally I'm glad never having acted on my suicidal thoughts. But how close I have been, so many times. I lived on the 12th floor of an apartment building, and there was a gallery to get to the front door. The top bar of the railing was about 3 to 4 inches wide. How many times I have stood on top of that railing I can't recall. As young as nine years old I would walk the railing from one end to the other, not caring I could fall to the wrong side. I also had this game where I would climb over to the other side of the railing, and I would let myself fall backwards with my hands in the air, only to grab the railing at the last possible moment. One day when I was a little older I found out that the door to the roof was left unlocked, and for a while I went out there every day to sit on the edge of the roof, more than 100 feet above the ground. Death was so close, so easy. And I played with knives, sharp knives. I didn't know what cutting was, but I would cut myself sometimes, because that pain was such a relief and distraction of the world I was living in, and what I went through almost every day. I remember thinking about cutting my wrists but I was afraid it would take too long to die, so I didn't. I thought about swallowing chemicals but I was afraid it would be too painful. I didn't know how to make a noose, but I tried. It didn't work. There was no internet yet with instructional videos for ways of killing yourself. But also no internet to find someone to talk to or to vent, or to read stories of other people who found a way out. I fled to alcohol and weed by the time I was thirteen, but that was always only a temporary fix. I still got the biggest rush from standing on top of the railing and looking down at a quick death.

I don't know why I never jumped. I think the game of walking the railing, or letting myself fall backwards and grabbing the railing at the last moment, gave me such a rush that it made me feel alive. Maybe that rush was the drug I needed, but in those days I didn't realize how close I came to dying each time I got up on that railing. Only once the bullying stopped I was able to start looking at life as something that could possibly be something worth trying, and I stopped my dangerous games. No matter how troubled I still was, the bullying was the strongest factor that made me want to die.

I saw councilman Joel Burns' video on Youtube, and it's inspiring. It's sad to see how much haters are commenting on the video. Nothing is easier than to speak your prejudice from behind a keyboard in your own home. It's a form of bullying, but these bullies are true cowards. In any case, bullies get their satisfaction from lifting themselves up by bringing someone else down. Unfortunately, cyber bullying can also push someone to commit suicide. There are kids out there right now, who have to deal with bullying in school, and when they come home are not heard by their parents,  then go online for some distraction, only to get bullied there as well. I can understand why kid like that would see that life has no use. I understand each and every kid who killed himself that I heard of these past months. Even if I'm not gay, I understand how they felt worthless, that they had no place in this world, and that the only escape was death.

No one ever saw my own despair. No one ever called the cops when I was walking the railing of the12th floor of the building I lived in. Did no one notice at all, or did they just didn't care? No teacher ever came to my aid whenever I was cornered, and I was only called to the councilor's office after I had been accused of having started a fight. Yeah, right. Remember, all the other kids towered at least a foot above me. At home I wasn't noticed at all, and since there was no internet, all I had was myself. I had no one I felt comfortable talking to, and had to deal with everything alone for many years. I wish I had internet in those days. It is so easy today to find solace online, or to find help, or just someone who can listen. There were no helplines for me either, so things have improved for today's kids. But why are there still so many kids killing themselves?

Like I said earlier, you don't have to be gay to be bullied, but we hear too many stories of young gay kids being bullied to death lately. And these kids are so young. When you're thirteen years old and have the desire to kill yourself, you can't yet see what the consequences are. While you may escape your bullies that way, you leave a lot of people behind who do care about you. Your life does have value, now, and in the future. I learned that being different is what makes me more interesting to people, and why these people care about me. It really is like Joel Burns said; life does get better. You won't be in school forever, and you won't be living at home with your parents forever. One day you will get out. One day, you will escape. One day you find that life has plenty to offer and, because you never know when it's going to end, it should be lived to the fullest.

In 'Painting by numbers' bullying is only one of the factors leading Seth Mason to kill, not just himself, but teachers and fellow students in his high school. 'The book is by no means a guide for suicide, or massacre. But there is a warning in the story. There are too many kids around America, and around the world, who are on the verge of being pushed too far. I hope that people will start noticing these kids, and help. I hope that kids who feel like Seth Mason in Painting by numbers, or like Seth Walsh from California, or Asher Brown from Texas, or Billy Lucas from Indiana, or anyone else who has suicidal thoughts, will seek help, and speak up. The worst thing to do is keeping all the pressure and all these thoughts to yourself. The worst thing for a kid is having to live with the thought that death is the only answer. Many of the thoughts Seth Mason has were my own, but I never acted on them. Instead, I found a way out. I think I came out stronger, and my desire for happiness became my force. Today, I don't let anyone or anything bring me down anymore. I'm living out loud and to the fullest, and so should you.

Painting by numbers is available at Amazon, and at Smashwords.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Excerpt: Painting by numbers

8) The Seth Mason needs a girlfriend application form

1. Do you smoke? (Yes I mean weed bitches, any loser can smoke a cigarette.)
2. Do you have boobs? (If all you have is oranges, you need not apply. I’m more of a melon guy.)
3. Do u mind if I wake you up in the middle of the night just to talk? (Even if it's totally random? Like, wtf is the use of Pi?)
4. Are you going to criticize me for every little thing I do? (Teachers and my parents do this enough, so no need for more.)
5. Will you tell me what you're feeling or thinking, at any given moment in time? (I’ll tell you what’s on MY mind at any time, so if you think my dick is too small or if you’re going to dump me for another reason, I want you to tell me right away.)
6. Will you tell me if there’s something you don't like about me? (I will not hesitate to tell you all the things I don’t like about you!)
7. Will you laugh at my jokes even if you don’t understand what the hell I’m talking about? (I don’t care if you don’t understand me, but at least pretend you do.)
8. What is your favorite food? (If you like Chinese, and/or Mexican food, you need not apply. I like good old American cooking. Reply you like burgers and I promise I’ll eat you like one.)
9. Will you just ditch me to hang out with your friends? (At least say no now.)
10. Will you have sex with me even if you promised your mom you’d stay virgin until marriage? (Seriously, I’m so sick of people NOT trying to get in my pants. Forget about all the previous points. I don’t need a girlfriend, or any friends. I just want someone to fuck me like a damn monkey in the jungle. Is that too much to ask for, to have someone to fuck? Can you be the one who’s after my dick instead of my heart? Just remember this; friends come and go, but fuck buddies are forever.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I decided to go with a new cover because people were telling me the current cover didn't reflect the content enough, and also, I noticed more interest for ALL THAT YOU CAN LEAVE BEHIND on SCRIBD, and I think this must be related to the cover. I hope this one will do better. This book is now also available on Amazon: AMAZON: PAINTING BY NUMBERS

Monday, October 4, 2010


Young teens killing themselves because they were being bullied over their sexuality, made headlines last week. In the light of this, an excerpt from my novel, PAINTING BY NUMBERS.

The whole experience of institutionalized education hasn’t left me much impressed. But, in all honesty, I think middle school may be the worst period in a kid’s life. In fact, it may be one of the worst segments of a human life. All these kids hitting puberty at the same time and being exposed to a supposedly more mature way of education for the first time in their lives, make it a very confusing three years. And when you’re eleven, three years can be a very long time. During this period I had a few what-you-may-call-friends, not really good ones, but a few kids I hung out with at school, and pretended to like as much as they pretended to like me. Mostly I had to deal with a vast number of too-cool-for-school, wannabe-gangsta, jewelry-flashing, brand-name-wearing, wake-me-up-at-5AM-to-groom-for-middle-school losers. The girls all had the brand-name wardrobes, and never seized to brag about how much their outfits cost. Boys weren't much better with $200 sneakers, the latest threads from Abercrombie or Hollister, iPods, and the latest cellphones to text with until their thumbs hurt. The rest were either trying to be like them, or trying to be the exact opposite. Oh, and of course there was this whole dating scheme where you were either in or out. And, if you were really out of luck, you could become the center of ridicule because you seemed uninterested in the opposite sex, even if in most cases this apparent lack of interest was more likely driven by insecurity issues, and low self-esteem, but it’s just so much fun to call someone a faggot. Faggot is the number one name kids use for guys who don’t fit in, and everything and everyone they don’t like is so gay. No one cares about anyone’s feelings. There are a lot of assholes out there thinking it's wrong to be homosexual, or different in any kind of way. They think it's all so fucking funny, but it's not fucking funny at all. Thank God not everyone is the same, and if someone’s homosexual it doesn’t mean he’s going to rape your ass. All I want to do when I hear someone talk crap like that is stick my middle finger right up at that motherfucker, but most times I kept it to myself, afraid to get even more shit. Right now I wished I had stood up for myself more often. Maybe I could have had a life after all if today had never happened.
Some people will never know how much they have hurt me. Some are amongst the people I shot, not all. Others maybe still alive but are probably too goddamn ignorant to realize I targeted them in the first place. Isn’t it sad how ignorant and heartless people can be? How some people seem to feed on other people’s miseries? One word can ruin somebody's day. One sentence can ruin somebody's life. It seems as if some people need to do that, to insult someone else to make themselves feel better, or even just to make their friends laugh. Teachers do it, for sure. They do it to get a sense of authority.
The worst feeling in the world is waking up every morning and having to go to school, not knowing whether or not you are going to be tortured that day. How many times did I not want to wake up at all, so I wouldn't have to deal with my tormentors. I was driven many times to the point where I would slice a knife over my skin, and feel the pain fall away in drops of blood. I have the scars to remind me of those days that are proof of the pain of my loneliness and isolation. It is very scary what people like me do to forget pain. Believe me, it’s a very scary feeling having no fucking control over your own daily life. When you can’t even cry because it hurts too much. When you can’t move your arm because the gashes are so deep, and all you can think about is that the next time you put that knife to your skin, you should cut just a little deeper. Scarier even, is when nobody sees your pain. When you’re all alone in the world without anyone there to help you. When all you need can be as little as a few words, an arm around your shoulder, or someone to tell you everything is going to be alright, even when you know it won’t. Forget about your so-called friends, who all think you're a big joke anyway, laugh at you and pick on you. Forget the so-called do-good adults who are supposedly there to protect you. You get to a point where life is too much to take and you try to swallow a bottle of pills to end it all, but even that doesn't work because you throw up from natural reflex. I've been there and done all that, and look at where it got me. Thanks everybody, now the hunted has become the hunter. Fear has made place for power. I got you now suckers, and shit, it feels so fucking good.

Your life

Your life.
How it should be.
Better than Anything.
Better than drugs, the heroine, the crack, the coke, LSD, weed, acid, ecstasy, or whatever else has ever lifted you off.
Better than sex, the passionate kind, blow jobs, reversed cow girl, doggie or 69, any old Thai fantasy or anything you ever saw in the Kamasutra.
Better than rock and roll, the Stones, the Beatles, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Muse, The Chili Peppers, Flobots or any of that real stuff.
Better than anything you ever ate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Oreos, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, hamburgers, Teriyaki chicken, grilled steaks, caesar salad or whatever else tickles your taste buds.
Better than Martin Scorcese movies, Clint Eastwood and his movies, Jack Nicholson, Robert deNiro, Sean Penn, Brat Pitt, Diane Keaton, Jodie Foster, Nicole Kidman or anyone who has ever brought you to tears.
Better than the San Francisco bay, Machu Picchu, the entire Caribbean, the Great Barrier reef, the Amazon, Bora Bora, France, Italy, New York, the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone.
Better than Lara Croft, Naomi Campbell, Angelina Jolie's lips, Cindy Crawford's hips, Marilyn Monroe's kiss or the Olson twins.
Better than the first step on the moon, the Hubble telescope, Mars landings, the invention of the wheel, the internet, Mac computers, 24, rocking chairs, the beach, Christmas, winning the lottery or the fortune of Bill Gates.
Better than the smell of the forest after the rain, or of the first flowers of spring.
Better than falling in love or the first kiss.
Better than watching the sunset lying on the beach with the sand still warm from the afternoon, with the person you love right next to you.
Better than finding out that the item you were about to buy is on sale.
Better than cold water during a heat wave.
Better than the smell of coffee in the morning.
Better than a touchdown in the last second of the game.
Better than smileys.
Better than finding someone left you a little present.
Better than laughing so hard that it hurts.
Better than a ride on the beach in a '65 Ford Mustang convertible with the top down.
Better than that shower at the end of a long and busy, ass-busting day.
Better than everyone smiling at you for no apparent reason.
Better than anything you ever learned about Jesus.
Better than God.
Better than love.
Better than peace.
Better than Freedom.
Better than life.
Your life.

Friday, October 1, 2010

So I think it's time I do this

Now, I've had blogs before. Some are still out there, but I've long forgotten about them, or don't remember the passwords or even the emails I used to sign up with. But I'll try to make this one last, mainly because I want to use this to promote my work as a writer, and I hope people will come here to see what I'm up to, and to read sample chapters of my novels and other work.

I will update this frequently.

My novels are out now on Smashwords. Here is my profile:


Years of humiliation in school and at home have finally caused fourteen year old Seth Mason to snap. High school didn't bring any change he had hoped for, the terrors of middle school years never stopped. His family is a joke, a beautiful facade of wealth and righteousness hiding a cesspool of dysfunction. His only ally, his grandmother, has died, and everyone else betrayed him. Not even the Nomans, the voices in his head, were ever really on his side. Sex couldn't satisfy him either because, as always, people only used him, which drained him emotionally. But it's all over now. He warned them after all. For more than a year he warned everyone in his blog, but no one listened. He knew one day he wouldn't take any of it anymore, and not even Alex, his psychiatrist who always made his hormones run wild, could have changed his mind. The hypnotherapy she insisted Seth should try only made things worse. It made him realize he didn't lose his innocence at age six like he always believed, when he found his mother in bed with a strange man while looking for his lost rabbit, but that all his life he had been living a lie. Now, besieged by police in his high school after killing numerous teachers and students, he reflects on the months leading up to his revenge, and prepares himself for the inevitable.

Rampant high school shootings still make headlines. But what drives a seemingly ordinary kid to walk into a school and shoot at other kids? Narrated by fourteen year old Seth Mason, PAINTING BY NUMBERS is the dark tale of the months leading up to his desperate act. Set in modern day America, this story takes the reader deep into the dark mind of a very disturbed teen.


Imagine being stranded on a deserted island, with the birds and the trees as your only companion. To thirteen year old Sage, the Caribbean island he just moved to might as well be deserted. At the brink of adolescence, and away from the turmoil of his old life in southern California, he is now left to deal with a history of abuse. Invisible to his young mother, who seems to be more interested in partying and smoking weed with her boyfriend than in her teenage son, and devoid of any friends, his lonely world seems without escape.

After a failed suicide attempt he starts writing about his world in a blog, embarking on a courageous quest to find a meaning of life. On his path of self-discovery he is helped by an adult couple who show him a more stable, family life, and even offer him a home when things get bad. A passionate relationship with a girl he meets finally allows him to overcome some of the emotional scars of abuse, and propel him forward towards maturity. As he learns that he carries his own key to happiness inside, he slowly gains confidence in himself and in the world around him. Just as he believes to have finally found the love of his mother, she betrays him when she unfolds her plans to move to Colombia instead of going back to California, like she promised. When her boyfriend suddenly dies, Sage is once again left with a a life-deciding choice; stay on the island with the people he now considers his family, or go back home with his own mother. Ultimately, he discovers only he can turn his hate into love and that, in order to survive, he will have to leave his past behind.

More than a story of redemption, ALL THAT YOU CAN LEAVE BEHIND tells of the innate human drive for life and love, a quest for happiness on which all of us embark. This is an adult / YA crossover novel, that I first published as a 'reality blog' on in 2005, and which attracted 350.000+ views from visitors of all ages over a 7 month period.