I'm not really up for announcing this but it just felt too weird not to, since the BE community has been kinda like a second family to me.
I've vaguely alluded to having other jobs, and one was as a caretaker for my little brother. He was born with a rare and cruel disease called Tuberous Sclerosis. Many are familiar with Multiple Sclerosis, which is the progressive deterioration of the muscular system, and TS does the same but to the central nervous system. The disease wreaks havoc on involuntary functions like breathing, digestion, temperature control and development. He was diagnosed at 1-2 years old and only expected to live until age 5-6.
Though we had almost a dozen close calls with him, he ended up soldiering on to age 35. He passed away the Thursday before Memorial weekend.
He stayed the size of about a 10-12 year old, so he was always like a little kid. He was also one tough and stubborn little shit -- I won't go into details, but you wouldn't believe the turmoil he went through. He did always manage to stay in way-too-good of a mood for his condition, and had this infectious aura, like a golden child who stirred up strong emotions in everyone who encountered him.
From the time I could process thought as a child, I had to become aware of his circumstances and prepare for the inevitable worst. For that reason, he's kinda been the foundation of my life and the center of my heart, and was definitely the source of my creativity and the reason I wanted to be a writer. In retrospect, he's also why I chose the Dallas Winston moniker, with my little bro unknowingly playing the Johnny Cade role. Thankfully, I'm old and wise (?) enough to abstain from knocking over a convenience store and going out in a blaze of glory. So far.
Though it's obviously heartbreaking on many levels, a lot of positive things will spring up and, while it seems petty in the grand scheme of things, one is that I'll be able to go back to tackling Dissections full time.
Forgive me if I just post this and get back to work -- it's been a crazy few months and I'm still pretty much in a daze. I thought this might also shed light on my erratic mood swings and random outbursts, though I imagine they'll continue to some extent.