On the Eve of My Second Publication

Hey there, folks! It’s been a while. I intended to post an update several times over the last few months, but whenever I tried to write something up, life got in the way. That’s certainly been a theme for me over the past year. But hey, I can’t complain – it’s been a damn good one.

If you’re reading this, you probably know about all of the great things that have been keeping my busy. Back in December, the Aurora Wolf literary journal published my first short story, “Business of Change”. Last February, I met an awesome girl (ironically, her name is Deejay), who I’m now dating. In the meantime, I’m still working at Elwyn – Davidson School as a Special Education teacher.

But what you may not know is that I’m currently taking online classes at West Chester to continue to be a Special Education teacher. Every night, when I get home from work, I’m working on multiple new writing projects – including several short stories and a novel.  And mostly importantly, on Friday, March 3rd, I’ll officially be a homeowner. Did I say that out loud? Oops! My bad!

Those are all fantastic life events, and I’m very excited to see what the future brings for me. I can’t complain much about 2016. All in all, it treated me quite well – even if it brought our world at large far less good.

Nonetheless, all of the above has kept me pretty busy, and left me with less time to blog, promote my music, and write new songs. To that end, it’s with great sorrow I announce that A Dream Deferred is likely over. While it’s certainly possible that I may get the band going again at some point, we’re all off doing our own things these days, and I’m not sure when I’d be able to get any of us together to record again. Writing, recording, and producing music is an incredibly time consuming process, and at this point, it’s just not feasible for me.

To that end, I wish the very best of luck to everyone who contributed to the awesome music we recorded with A Dream Deferred every summer. You guys helped me play my songs the way I’d always wanted, and for that I’m very grateful. If any of you are reading this and need anything from me at any point, don’t hesitate to ask – I’ll be happy to help you in any way I can. We had some fun making music together, and I’ll always cherish the summers we spent in Jeremy’s studio putting these songs together.

With each ending, of course, comes a new begin. I’ve known that A Dream Deferred probably wouldn’t get a chance to put together any more music for a while now. When I got the urge to be creative again, I dove back into my origin career aspiration – writing fiction.

Considering I only started trying to write professionally back in June, and already have two stories published, I’d say my dream has gotten off to a pretty good start.Tomorrow, when my second story, “Faith” hits Aurora Wolf’s website, there will be some time to celebrate. But soon, I’ll be just another writer searching for a market for his latest story. I’ve got plenty in the works, so stay tuned!

If you found this website through my bio on Aurora Wolf, then welcome! I hope you enjoy what you find here, and hope you had a great time reading my stories. Soon, I’ll be putting together a new blog, which will be entirely writing-focused.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Once my new blog is all set to go, I’ll make another post on here with the link.

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/alanwake/images/6/6f/Return.png/revision/latest?cb=20120224004849

Wrestlemania 32 Predictions

After months of anticipation, Wrestlemania 32 is finally here! While the build to this year’s Superbowl of Wrestling has felt like a crawl at times, as a combination of injuries to high profile talents and poor booking has hampered WWE at every turn, I have to give Vince McMahon and company credit, as they’ve managed to put together a pretty solid card despite facing a great deal of adversity. Even if they do make surprise appearances (more on that later), there will matches from beloved superstars like John Cena, Seth Rollins, or Randy Orton, meaning that it will be up to a number of lesser-known stars to carry the show. If anything, my hope for tonight is that it will showcase how much talent WWE really has, and remind them that it’s about time to start promoting their current roster instead of relying on the relics of wrestling’s past to carry the company.

In any case, the best thing about tonight’s show, in my opinion, is that it’s looking rather unpredictable, which is not something you can often say about a wrestling pay-per-view. Can Dean Ambrose do the unthinkable and defeat the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar, in a Street Fight? Who will leave Wrestlemania as WWE World Heavyweight Champion – Triple H or Roman Reigns? And who will leave Hell in a Cell with their career in tact – Shame McMahon, or The Undertaker? Read on to find out!

  1. Tag Team Match – The Dudley Boyz (D-Von and Bubba Ray) will defeat the Usos (Jimmy and Jey)

From what I’ve seen of the Dudleys over the last few weeks, I’m starting to get major “Bully Ray,” vibes from Bubba. I think that’s a great thing, and personally, I’d love to see them turn him into one of the company’s top heels. What better way to accomplish that than giving him a victory over the fan favorite Usos to start Wrestlemania 32?

2. 10 Divas Tag Match: The Total Divas (Eva Marie, Alicia Fox, Natalya, Paige, and Brie Bella) will defeat team B.A.D. and Blonde (Lana, Naomi, Summer Tae, Tamina, and Emma).

This match is, without a doubt, one of the most baffling on the card, as WWE has Eva Marie, arguably the most hated performer in the company, wrestling with a bunch of faces. This is just one of the many bizarre booking decisions they’ve made on the way to this year’s Wrestlemania, and unfortunately, fans in Dallas are likely to crap all over this match due to Eva’s involvement, which is a huge disservice to the other women in the bout, several of whom are very talented performers.

 

Bonus Prediction: Brie Bella will get the pin, and retire on RAW tomorrow night.

According to rumors, Brie Bella is planning on retiring to start a family with her husband Daniel Bryan following tonight’s event. If that’s true, then I wish them nothing but the best, and expect her to get the win for her team tonight and announce her retirement on the post-Mania episode of RAW

3. Singles Match for the WWE United States Championship: Kalisto (C) will defeat Ryback to retain the WWE United States Championship. 

Get ready to see a lot of Kalisto over the next few months, as WWE is giving him the Rey Mysterio treatment and pushing him as the company’s next top Mexican star. And with good reason too – the dude is a monster in the ring, and he’s shorter than me! I see very little chance he loses to Goldberg – I mean Ryback – tonight.

4. 3rd Annual Andre the Giant Battle Royal: Bray Wyatt will win after Erik Rowan and Braun Strowman eliminate themselves on his behalf.

As I see it, anything short of a win by Wyatt here would be a waste of the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, as the Eater of Worlds was set to face Brock Lesnar at the Show of Shows until the Beast Incarnate’s feud with Dean Ambrose caught fire. Now, Wyatt isn’t even advertised for a match at tonight’s event. In light of that, if you ask me, The New Face of Fear deserves this win. Besides, rumor has it WWE plans on pushing him as the company’s top heel after Mania, and there’s no better way to accomplish that than giving him a big victory here.

 

Bonus Prediction: After winning the match, Bray Wyatt will smash the trophy and set the remains on fire.

What better way to generate a ton of heat? Plus, I can’t be the only one who thinks that this sight would be bloody awesome!

5. Seven Man Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship: Kevin Owens (C) will defeat Sami Zayn, Sin Cara, Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, Zach Ryder and The Miz to retain his WWE Intercontinental Championship.

As much as I’d love to see my boy Sami Zayn walk away with the title in his first Wrestlemania appearance, Kevin Owens is one of the company’s brightest young stars, and has done a fantastic job elevating the intercontinental championship over the past few months. He’s earned this win, which will surely surely set him up for a singles win with Zayn, his longtime rival.


Bonus Prediction: The bout will end with Zayn and Owens dueling for the title at the top of the ladder.

On that note, to set up that aforementioned singles feud, the match will end with Owens and Zayn face to face at the top of the ladder, punching each other’s lights out for the right to be WWE Intercontinental Champion.

6. 3 on 4 Handicap Match: The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E Langston, and Xavier Woods) will defeat The League of Nations (Wade Barrett, Rusev, Shaemus, and Alberto Del Rio)

No surprise here – The New Day are the biggest faces in the company right now, while The League of Nations have been floundering heels since their inception. This should be a nice feel good-win for the crowd, who will no doubt cheer their lungs out for the Tag Team Champions. Especially because I predict that The New Day will get some help from. . .

Bonus Prediction: The Rock will get involved in this match, helping out The New Day evening the odds to a 4-4 match. He won’t take any bumps, but he’ll get in the ring to do all his signature moves. And the best part is? I predict he’ll come out wearing a unicorn horn and carrying a box of Booty O’s cereal, thus giving the Tag Team Champions a HUGE rub.

7. Singles Match: AJ Styles will defeat Chris Jericho

AJ Styles will get a Wrestlemania moment in his first appearance at the event, beating Chris Jericho in what may end up being the best wrestling match of the night. If you ask me, Styles is a future WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and a win here would really help to cement that.

8. Triple Threat Match for the WWE Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks will defeat Charlotte (C) and Becky Lynch to become the new WWE Women’s Champion.

While AJ and Jericho may end up being the best wrestling match on the card, this is the one I believe will actually earn that distinction. All three of these women are fantastic performers, and are going to steal the show tonight. With her cousin Snoop Dogg’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame last night, I see no way Sasha, who’s been catching fire with the WWE Universe for the past few months, doesn’t walk away with the title.

Making matters even better, you may have noticed that I’ve taken to calling it the Women’s Championship and not the Diva’s title. That’s because. . .

Bonus Prediction: The winner of this match will be presented with a brand new WWE Women’s Championship built, replacing the Diva’s title.

There’s been a rumor going around for days that WWE will be rebranding the Diva’s Division as the Women’s Division, and it’s about damn time! As an staunch feminist and a man who’s certain that he’s going to have at least one daughter (I grew up in a house of mostly men, I teach all boys, that’s where this narrative is going, obviously!) this might be the highlight of the night for me. If it does happen, that is!

9. The Lunatic Fringe vs The Beast Incarnate – No Holds Barred Street Fight: Dean Ambrose will defeat Brock Lesnar.

This match is quite literally the story of a pesky, crazy David against a superhuman, dominant Goliath. Lesnar hasn’t been pinned since Wrestlemania 29, and while a loss for Ambrose here wouldn’t hurt the momentum he’s picked up over the past few months, a win over The Beast Incarnate would vault Ambrose to new heights. Plus, because of the Street Fight rules, Ambrose can win in a way that still makes the monstrous Lesnar look strong.

Bonus Prediction: This match will go all throughout the arena, including the tunnel where former Eagles Quarterback Donovan McNabb infamously played air guitar back in 2010.

10. No Disqualification Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Roman Reigns will defeat Triple H (C) to become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

It’s been a full calendar year, and yet, WWE is still struggling to get Roman Reigns over as the new face of the company. Say what you will about John Cena, but he’s an incredible performer, and no man is as good at turning a crowd to his favor than the 15 time World Champion. Reigns, however, is not John Cena, he is not The Rock, he’s not Stone Cold Steve Austin, and he is not Daniel Bryan. He’s a strong performer with a good look, a couple of neat moves, and unfortunately, sub-par skills on the microphone. I think he’s certainly deserving of several runs with the title belt, but I don’t think he’s fit to be the face of the company, and if the past year and a half is any indication, nothing WWE can do from here is going to get him as over as they want him to be. In my opinion, he’s easily the worst booked attempt at making a top star in the history of WWE, and for that, I legitimately feel bad for the man.

According to backstage reports, this match was originally intended to close the show, but instead, the Hell in a Cell match between Taker and Shane will be replacing it. That’s the way to go if you ask me, because WWE seems determined to tell the story they want to tell with Reigns, results and crowd reaction be damned.

If this were a fantasy booking blog, I’d have Reigns turn heel here and go on a monstrous run with the belt that would eventually allow him to become a megastar as a face. But since this is a prediction blog, and this match is easily the most predictable match on the card, there’s no sense in pulling your leg here, folks – Reigns is going to win, end of story.

Bonus Prediction: Seth Rollins will interfere in this match and help out Reigns. This will set up for a future Shield reunion tour (that’s bound to happen in the next year or so) and a match between The Architect and the King of Kings at some point in down the line.

11. Hell in a Cell Match – If Shane wins, he gets control of Monday Night RAW and The Undertaker will be barred from competing at Wrestlemania – Shane McMahon will defeat The Undertaker.

This is the single most unpredictable match on a card ripe with room for swerves and surprises. If someone had told me at the start of the year that Wrestlemania 32 would be headlined by The Undertaker and Shane McMahon, I’d have laughed in their face. The Deadman, at 51 and with just a few more matches left in him, is going to take on a 46 year old non-wrestler to main event the biggest Wrestlemania of all time? I wouldn’t have believed that for a second. And yet, despite that, Vince McMahon and company has done a fantastic job of building some serious drama around this bout.

While it’s difficult for me to imagine The Undertaker losing at another Wrestlemania, let suffering a defeat in what may be his final match at the Showcase of the Immortals to bloody Shane McMahon, the narrative potential behind a loss for the Deadman here is simply too great to pass up.

For almost three years now, WWE has relied on the overdone, cliched Authority storyline to carry the company. While this has allowed us to see the apex of Triple H’s character (ala Max Landis’ Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling), it’s also been like a crutch for creative, as they’ve brought back or emphasized The Authority every time they seem to be running out of ideas. Need a new enemy for John Cena – err, I mean, Roman Reigns? Let’s just have The Authority hate on him for no apparent reason! Yeah, that’ll work!

Three years of any one story line is far too, and thus, it’s time for a change. If Shane wins here tonight, it will bring about the end of The Authority, and set up for. . .

Bonus Prediction: Shane’s victory will bring back the brand split,

As mentioned in countless other articles, the deal between Vince and Shane was that if Shane wins, he would control Monday Night RAW. That’d be the perfect way to set up for the much needed return of the brand split, which would allow WWE to fully utilize their deep roster of talent.

At the same time, this would also set up for. . .

Bonus Prediction: A final feud for The Undertaker, which would see him wrestling in a match at SummerSlam to earn the right to compete at one more Wrestlemania.

We love The Undertaker. And we hate the idea of him never stepping into the squared circle at Wrestlemania once again. But it’s time to begin the end of his career in earnest, before something like an unfortunate injury or real life circumstances force him to retire unexpectedly. What better way to tell the story of The Undertaker’s final Wrestlemania than having him lose at this one, and have to fight his way back to the Grand Daddy of Them All over the next year?

Who will The Undertaker face at that last Wrestlemania, you ask? The same man who will cost him the win tonight. And that man’s name is. . . .

Bonus Prediction: John Cena will interfere in this match and help Shane defeat The Undertaker. This will set up for a match at Wrestlemania 33 between two of the biggest stars in the company’s history.

And on that note. . .

Bonus Prediction: This match will close the show.

It’s the most unpredictable match on the card, and the one most people are looking forward to. The end of the show is where this one belongs!

That’s a wrap, everyone! Hope you enjoyed the read, and I hope you have a great time watching tonight’s event!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porter Angels – Lyrics

Hey everyone! Our next song, Porter Angels, will be released on Saturday, March 19th. Tonight, I’m unveiling Porter’s lyrics for you to read over and enjoy before the song itself hits the interwebs this weekend! Read on to check them out!

 

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As I’ve mentioned a few times this week, Porter Angels is a song about one man’s recovery from a myriad of issues, both physical and mental. The tune takes the listener on a journey through the difficulties he’s facing at the time, the struggles he’s been through, and his hopes for recovery. Despite the song’s sometimes bleak lyrics, I feel that Porter is ultimately an uplifting, joyous tune, as it maintains a positive tone throughout and maintains a clear focus on the protagonist’s dreams for the future.

—————

I’m in comatose state, poppies thick in my veins but I don’t want to be saved
So leave me be, let me rest, when I’m awake I’m depressed, and I would rather be dead
I lay in bed like a corpse and live without much remorse this drug has taken my brain

Everyday it’s a little harder waking up
Everyday I need a little more from these drugs
Now and then I wish for someone I could tell
Of the way that I’m putting myself through hell

A boy in hospital bed would fight like hell just to live so why won’t you let me die
You got your arms stretched in front, you’re saying, “Baby don’t run, I want to love you tonight”.
But what about both our pasts and all the future we have girl would you love me for life?
You promise me that you will and hold me perfectly still our hearts are beating in time.

Everyday it’s a little better waking up
Everyday I need a little more of your love
Now and then I wish for someone I could tell
Of the way that you’re dragging me out of hell

 

Porter Angels: Cover Art

The cover art for our next song, Porter Angels, will feature one of my favorite professional wrestlers of all time – The Hardcore Legend, Mick Foley! To find out why Foley was the pick and what about Porter Angels makes me think of him, read on!

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At it’s heart, Porter Angels is a song that’s all about recovering from a myriad of issues, both physical and mental. Despite everything the song’s protagonist is going through, from depression to an addiction to drugs, he refuses to surrender the will to live and acknowledges that each new day is better than the last.  In my mind, no character I can think of exemplifies that type of bounce back, never say die attitude like the great Mick Foley.

A professional wrestling character with an unspecific mental illness, Foley was known for his daredevil antics in the ring, all of which he did in the pursuit of victory at all costs. Many of the most dangerous and well-known performances in the history of sports entertainment involve him, including his actions at King of the Ring 1998 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when he was thrown from the roof of a 22 foot cage not once, but twice. The video of this remarkable “bump,” as they call it in pro wrestling lingo, can be seen below.

While Foley’s portrayal of a character with mental illness was not always progressive, I would most certainly argue that there were far more good elements present in Foley’s depiction than bad. Although he routinely put himself in harm’s way, he always came back the next night, and won three WWE World Heavyweight Championships before his career was over. In light of that, I feel that Mick Foley is a pretty positive character in the field of mental illness, and therefore a perfect figure to represent a song that focuses on those issues.

Porter Angels debuts this Saturday, March 19th – be sure to check it out!

 

Album of the Year: Lyrics

Hey there gang! Tomorrow afternoon, we’ll be unveiling Album of the Year, the first song from The Breezewood Daze! It’s also Jay Cadwallader’s birthday, so we figured the release date was especially appropriate!

Until then, be sure to check out the song’s awesome lyrics! It’s a cover of a Tim Kasher tune, but Jay made a few super cool edits to the words that made the song fit our style much better!

Fun fact – Album marks the first A Dream Deferred song to contain explicit lyrics. Enjoy!

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——————-

The first time that I saw her
I was throwing up in the ladies room stall
She asked me if I needed anything
I said, “I think I spilled my drink”
And that’s how it started
(Or so I’d like to think)

She took me to her mother’s house
Outside of town where the stars hang low
She said she’d never seen someone so lost
I said I’d never felt so found
And then I kissed her on the cheek
And so she kissed me on the mouth

The spring was popping daises up
Around rusted trucks and broken lawn chairs
We moved into a studio in Council Bluffs
To save a couple bucks
Where the mice came out at night
Your neighbors were screaming all the time

We’d make love in the afternoons
To Chelsea Girls and Bachelor #2
I’d play for her some songs I wrote
She’d joke and say “you’re shooting through the roof,”
I’d say, “They’re all for you, dear
I’ll write the album of the year”

And I know she loved me then
I swear to God she did
It was the way she’d bite my lower lip
And push her hips against my hips
And dig her nails so deep into my skin

The first time that I saw her
I was convinced I had finally found the one
She was convinced I was under the influence
Of all those drunken romantics
I was reading Fante at the the time
I had Bukowski on my mind

She got a job at Jacob’s
Serving cocktails to the local drunks
Against her will, I fit the that bill
I perched down at the end of the bar
She said, “Space is not just a place for stars
I give you an inch, you want a house with a fucking yard”

And I know she loved me once
But those days are done
She used to call me every day
From a pay phone on her break for lunch
Just to say she can’t wait to come home

Please come home, please come home, please home
Her clothes were packed in boxes
With some pots and pans and books and a toaster
Just then a mouse scurried across the floor

We started laughing until it didn’t hurt
We started laughing until it didn’t hurt
We started laughing until it didn’t hurt
We started laughing until it didn’t hurt
We started laughing until it didn’t hurt

The last time that I saw her
She was picking through which records were hers

 

Disclaimer: All credit to Tim Kasher and The Good Life for penning the original lyrics to the song!

Album of the Year: Cover Art

Hey guys! Tonight, it’s time for one of my favorite pre-release activities – the cover art reveal! For this particular song, I’ve chosen to use Yennefer of Vengerberg from The Witcher 3. What made me decide to pick Yennefer for the cover art for Album of the Year, the first song from The Breezewood Daze? Read on to find out!

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When I sit down to pick cover art for a song, I always read over the song’s lyrics very carefully, trying to think of a character that really exemplifies the story of the tune. As I read over Album of the Year’s lyrics (which will be posted on this blog tomorrow, by the way), I was continually reminded of Yennefer. Album’s lyrics describe a romantic relationship between the song’s speaker and a woman who’s best described as fiercely independent, always true to herself, yet is also very nurturing and a transformative influence for the speaker. That’s a pretty remarkable character description for just a 5 minute song, so much so that I really sat back and began to consider what female characters I could think of that fit that bill.

Each time I reviewed that list of qualities, I kept thinking of Yennefer. I just finished playing through The Witcher 3 about 2 weeks ago, and I can definitely say that it has some of the most in depth, well-drawn characters of any video game I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. If you ask me, Yennefer is probably the game’s best character, as she comes off incredibly true to life and very much bucks the trend with video game women. Far too often, women in video games are unfortunately portrayed as sex objects, and while it is true that the player can romance and have a few dalliances with Yennefer, she’s never treated as such. While the relationship between Yennefer and the game’s main character, Geralt, is absolutely authentic in nature, as it really runs the gamut on all the types of feelings and emotions that encompass a long-term romance, far more important is the role that Yennefer plays in the game’s story itself. She spends most of the game gathering information, doing her best to keep Geralt from making a mess of things, leading the hunt for Ciri (her adoptive daughter with Geralt), and doing whatever she can to make sure her own goals and plans succeed.

If you ask me, that’s one hell of a strong character, much like the one described in the lyrics to Album of the Year, and therefore I think Yennefer is a perfect choice for the song’s cover art.

Album of the Year debuts on Saturday, March 5th – be sure to check it out!

If you’d like to find out more about what makes Yennefer such an awesome character, just follow the link below!

http://witcher.wikia.com/wiki/Yennefer

 

 

 

The Week I Left Breezewood

The week I left Breezewood was one of the most eventful of my entire life. Over the course of just seven days, I parted ways with the band, broke up with my girlfriend, and learned that I’d be without a roommate for my senior year of college. That’s a lot for someone to deal with in one week, and while I’ll admit that it certainly sucked, the truth is, that seven day odyssey taught me more about myself than any other time in my 24 year existence.

I’ve spoken openly about my struggles with depression in the past. For various reasons, my freshmen and sophomore years at Duquesne marked the height of my melancholy. In fact, in the Spring of 2012, I really thought about leaving the Steel City and returning home. Needless to say, I’m glad that I didn’t. That summer, I focused on regrouping myself mentally, reread a number of books that have helped me form my personal philosophy on life (Watchmen, Zen Guitar, and a bunch of short stories from J.D. Salinger, among others), and did whatever I could to return to the things made me, well, me. By the time I returned to the Bluff in August, I was in a much better mindset, and felt ready and rejuvenated for a fresh start.

Thankfully, my junior year at Duquesne ended up being one hell of a comeback tour for me. By November, I had joined Breezewood, started hanging out with a new group of friends (who reintroduced me to my middle school hobby of Warhammer 40k), entered into a new relationship, got back to work on Theros (a fictional world I’ve been writing stories in for 11 years now, hopefully you’ll all get to see something from it at some point), celebrated my 21st birthday, and started kicking ass in the classroom again. All of that was fantastic, and led to some of the best memories I have from my time at Duquesne. It was all thanks to my mew, reborn mindset that I was able to take in and enjoy all of those things. And yet, everyone who’d been with me through my days of depression (and myself, honestly) was waiting for for the other shoe to drop, for the great turnaround I’d experienced to face it’s first major test. When that unfortunate combination of social and artistic adversity came my way, many of my closest friends and family members were very concerned that I might relapse into my depression.

But I didn’t.

Rather, I held up stronger than ever. I kept developing Theros, continued hanging out with my new friends (who I continue to visit in Pittsburgh on a regular basis), and came to the conclusion that living in a studio apartment by myself might actually be pretty cool (it was!). Then, once I had returned home for the summer, I started A Dream Deferred, and recorded our first three songs – Shade, The Road, and Symphony. Today, I’m still writing for Theros (I’m actually working on the manuscript of a full length novel right now. It’s going slowly because of work and such, but it’ll get done eventually, I’m sure of it!) and still recording music with A Dream Deferred. For the first time in my life, I looked upon the adversity I was facing as new opportunities, rather than personal downfalls. And all of that, if you ask me, is thanks to the lessons I learned as a member of Breezewood on the Pittsburgh DIY scene.

Breezewood’s music was something of an anomaly in today’s musical culture. Our songs were honest, emotional, unapologetic, and always true to ourselves. Considering I’m the guy who wrote Shade, a song all about self-acceptance, to play in a band with that type of approach towards music was a truly wonderful experience. And although I had started to get back to that core tenant of my personal belief system when I returned to Duquesne in August 2012, it was my time with Breezewood that reaffirmed just how important that maxim is.

Three years removed from the end of Breezewood, I’m forever grateful for the fact that Jay and his punk rock music helped bring back my passion for accepting one’s true self and embracing that person without hesitation. The best part is, I see the influence of that ideal every day.

When I tell a student to be who they are and not let society change them, or even shame them for their disability, I’m carrying on the spirit of Breezewood.

Each time I decide to keep my badass beard because I like it and it doesn’t really matter to me how other feel about it, I’m living the Breezewood lifestyle.

Every time I sit down to work on a Theros-related story, and write it exactly as I want it to be, without any hesitation, I’m carrying on the Breezewood torch.

And if I post articles full of WWE predictions, without a care in the world about what anyone thinks about my interest in professional wrestling, I’m staying true to the Breezewood message.

That’s what Breezewood means to me. And if I continue to do things like that, then Breezewood will never die.

The Breezewood Daze, a compilation of music from my time with Breezewood, will debut on Saturday, March 5th.

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