Important: Altered Perceptions. A Charity Anthology for Mental Illness

A bunch of us writers are doing a charity anthology to help out a fellow writer in need.

Rob Wells is an author, a peer, and a good friend of mine. A few years ago Rob’s life fell apart because of severe mental health issues, and he’s been putting it back together ever since. Imagine your brain having your fight or flight reflex constantly switched on, and being unable to switch it off. Rob has constant panic attacks, depression, and severe OCD that pushes him to self harm. His mental health issues cost him his job and severely hampered his writing career.

Over the last few years I’ve watched Rob face these challenges and keep on pushing through. I think the best thing that happened for him was getting a service dog, because no matter how imposing the world was, Annie the calming dog was always there for him. Back when I had a day job, and was in town every day, we used to hook up for lunch once a week. It really makes you appreciate a restaurant that doesn’t freak out about a service dog.

Rob’s been getting treatment. I could tell when he was on a different medication because it would change how he talked, how he acted, even how he looked. Meds that helped the brain chemistry had debilitating side effects, and each one became a matter of tradeoffs. Yet, Rob just keeps on trying and fighting. I’ve got a lot of respect for the man.

He still forces himself to attend conventions and signings, and stays as long as he can until his brain demands that he get away. One time Rob and I were on a panel at LTUE, talking to a very full room. Every seat was taken, and people were standing along the walls, and blocking the exit door. This started to damage Rob’s calm, so he asked the people in front of the door to please clear the way. They didn’t do so fast enough, so I took up the microphone and explained in my typical gentle fashion that if they didn’t get their asses out of the way, I was going to scoop Rob up in my arms and carry him from the room like he was Whitney Houston and I was Kevin Costner. Rob asked if I’d really do that for him. Yes. But only if he sings the song.

So for this charity anthology, Rob has sung the theme from the Bodyguard and asked for my help, so now it is time to Costner up and kick some ass.

When you’re already dealing with mental health issues that are exacerbated by stress, there’s nothing quite as awesome as being up to your eyeballs in debt. Much of this debt is to the IRS, an organization known for its understanding and merciful nature. Rob has been writing, and his career is getting better, but he went from having a good paying professional job to losing everything. This has been a huge burden on Rob’s family.

Bestselling fantasy author Brandon Sanderson is another friend of Rob’s. When he heard how in the hole Rob was he decided to help out. Brandon had the idea of getting a bunch of authors who know Rob to kick in things for a charity anthology to help him out. To make sure that this money goes where it needs to go, Brandon is footing the bill for the printing and production of the whole project. Brandon is one of the coolest guys I know, which is almost enough to make me forgive him for the inevitable mud stomping that the entire Wheel of Time series is about to administer to the other Hugo nominees for best novel. 🙂

Despite my being the International Lord of Hate and most despised man on the internet this week, Brandon, Dan, and Rob know that I do a lot of stuff for charity and my fans (you guys) are total bad asses at working the internet. So they asked me to help plug the heck out of this project. There are a ton of authors in this thing. Since I was recently informed that my readers who voted in Sad Puppies must all be fraudulent figments of my imagination, let’s demonstrate again that the Monster Hunter Nation actually exists by punching mental illness in the face.

The idea is that Rob’s author friends have lots of fans who like our regular stuff enough to give us money for it. So why not get together a compilation of things that would appeal to our wide fan base that our fans normally wouldn’t be able to get? Brandon and Rob’s brother Dan put out a call for things that our fans normally wouldn’t see, like deleted scenes from our well known works, early drafts that were drastically changed, stories that were never published, that sort of thing.

This was hard for me because most of the time when something doesn’t work, I chuck it. I don’t save deleted scenes. And I’ve been lucky in that most of the manuscripts I’ve sent in haven’t been changed too drastically in editing. HOWEVER… There was this one really big fun fight sequence in Swords of Exodus that just didn’t fit. It was awesome, but it didn’t really work for various reasons (which you will see). And I actually had a copy of this because it was still on the draft I submitted to Baen. So, my contribution to this anthology is a pit fight between Lorenzo and Anders (that never happened in the real book!) where I demonstrate that Anders is a total badass and Lorenzo is not nearly as tough as he thinks he is.

My second contribution is to do something ridiculous and fun for charity. Rob isn’t a shooter, but he’s fascinated by it, and I’m an enthusiast… Okay, check that. I’m the biggest shooting fanatic you’ll find in this business. So capitalizing on our various talents for different reward tiers, Rob has asked me to shoot things for charity. You donate extra money to help Rob out, I will shoot things for your amusement, and we will record it. In order to kick things off, Rob is giving me a copy of the DSM to demonstrate his displeasure on. Since according to the DSM, I meet 7 out of 8 of the symptoms for Oppositional Defiant Disorder, this sounded like a brilliant idea to me.

So what shootable item troubles your mental health? Allow me to help you. And since you guys know I’m incapable of doing anything in moderation, when you ask me to shoot something on video for you, you know it is going to get mauled.

So the goal is to sell this anthology. Fans get a fun book of odd things from their favorite writers. Rob gets out of the hole. Any money raised over the goal will go to mental health charity. The goal is super high, but I believe they plan to have the project proceed no matter what.

So please, tell your friends and spread the word. Thanks.

Foudre de Guerre
A Blow has been Struck Against Puppy Related Sadness

94 thoughts on “Important: Altered Perceptions. A Charity Anthology for Mental Illness”

  1. Definitely at least buying the anthology. But If I can work up the scratch, I’d suggest either a pretty pink snowflake or a copy of the Vagina Monologues. But that would be a hatey-McHater move, and I know you don’t want that rep 😉

  2. I would love to watch you shoot pill bottles but I pay too much for those little bottles to pay you to shoot them …

    1. That giant mound of paper that is the Federal code would take a whole *lot* of shooting!
      There should definitely be tracers involved with that…

      1. The federal code? Hell, pick one thing. Say sponges. If I just shot the pages concerning the regulation and transportation of sponges I bet I’d run out of ammo long before they ran out of pages.

      2. I dunno, shooting it seems a little wussy… How about collecting all that *GAG* paperwork in on safe place and then EXPLODING it??? 😉 I’d pay to see that, LOL

        1. If I could see Larry use a quad .50 with lots of tracers on the tax code, that might make it possible for me to pry some cash from the wife’s fingers!

    2. I was going to suggest the same thing. Maybe they could add an extra tier on that $250 level of X number available to claim, and if all X are claimed, Larry shoots the entire tax code to pieces?

    3. It’s a beautiful thought, but, unless we can rent Larry a GAU/8, I don’t think I want him to spend that much time away from writing… 😉

      1. …oh that would be freaking awesome.

        Of course, to get a GAU/8 we’d have to bring an A10 along with it. Still… the .gov are supposedly scrapping them, maybe we can get one for a song.

        (Yeah yeah, I know, even de-mil-ed it ain’t happening, and if its demil-ed it won’t have a GAU/8 on the nose)

      2. One word when it comes to the Tax Code or the ACA; TANNERITE! Lots of tannerite. I’d be willing to donate money for that!

      3. I just looked up Tannerite online, having only heard of it in passing before. Did you know that it’s marketed as Tannerite Binary Rifle Targets? Sounds very gendernormative fascist to me! 😀

  3. Will definitely buy the book and maybe throw in to have you shoot something. Right now I’m drawing a blank on what I want shot, but something will come up, I’m sure. This seems like a great, fun way to help a friend. You’re a bunch of awesome cis-humans. I applaud you.

    1. Don’t worry, the social justice crowd thinks guns are evil hateful things. Larry’s rep will survive. And I’m sure one of the donors will pick a book by one of the SJW approved authors for an infusion of lead, which will probably raise him to International Super Lord of Hate or something.

  4. As someone who works in the mental health field, I approve of this completely. I’m really impressed with y’all, doing this for a peer. As for things to shoot, how about trying to put a hole in one of your MHI challenge coins at a fairly long range (Isn’t shooting holes in coins one of those traditional cowboy/shooter feats?), then auction it off as additional part of the whole fundraiser. I hope that’s not an offensive idea to you as I don’t want you to believe I think little of your creative work, it just seems somehow appropriate to me.

  5. The main problem with depression is that there’s nothing to shoot. Your “KILL IT!!!” reflex is stuck “on” but nothing is there.

    Still, TV these days is pretty depressing.

    Maybe you could shoot a television tuned to CNN. That would be pretty keen. Hatey, yet perfectly safe.

    Use really -large- bullets. I want Anderson Cooper to duck.

    1. I don’t hate pink flamingos (when I see them in yards, their pure ugliness makes me happy because it means that there are hold-outs for freedom from the HOAs of tyranny) but that would be visually awesome with the pink jello.

  6. A couple of thoughts from a PTSD sufferer who’s helped other PTSD sufferers.
    First: Service dogs are awesome. I’m looking at getting a German Shepherd this fall after I go to another Army school that’s 3 1/2 months long.
    Second: The Monster Hunter Nation is freaking awesome. They prove that while Leftist SJW’s are happy to crap on people’s doorsteps in demanding other people’s money to address false victimhood until the cows come home, real conservatives and libertarians give a crap about actually helping people in need, and do so far more effectively with less overhead and no government involvement than the ivory tower crowd.
    Third: Have you thought about contacting Mike Dillon from Dillon Precision? My dad bought one of his reloaders several years ago, and one of the videos included was of Dillon using his quad .50 to shoot down targets towed behind radio controlled aircraft in the Nevada desert. A quad .50 would completely ROCK!
    Finally, potential targets could include some hyphenated studies curricula (Womyn’s studies, minority studies, etc.). Maybe one of those Chevy Volts that spontaneously combust and use one of those $5,000 batteries that can’t be recycled and become environmental nightmares when they end up in Chinese landfills.

    1. Oh, yeah, also, you could always write another couple of installments of Tom Stranger for the anthology.

      1. Yes! More Tom Stranger!

        Hell, I’m still waiting for part 3 of ConKhanQuan XIV. It’s evil to have a cliffhanger last 4 whole years!

  7. Seeing Larry shoot something would be awesome, but I have the problem that if I hate something bad enough to want to shoot it, I’ll shoot the durn thing myself. Thoroughly.

    I suppose after I’m done I could have Larry shoot the pieces…

  8. Darn. I can’t suggest the one I’d like him to shoot at for fear of the Secret Service showing up at my doorstep. Sigh. I second the Federal tax code.

    1. Studio C (sketch comedy show from BYU; check them out on YouTube) recently did a skit about teenagers playing D&D. When asked if they were going into a dragon’s cave, one teenager said, “I don’t know. Dragons are like the IRS with wings!”
      That was my belly laugh of the day.

    1. That was what I was going to ask, too – and that way, not only can I link this post, but then I can also link the donate/pledge post. Of course, Larry just put this post up, so maybe the other link it on its way 😉

    2. I believe there is on the campaign. I’m not sure though. I’m not the dude running it (just helping signal boost and shooting things). You might want to ask in the comments over there.

      1. [facepalm] Of COURSE I should have assumed the indegogo link was the fundraiser link. Well, there’s my not-enough-caffiene-on-a-Monday moment…. Thanks for being so gracious, Larry 😉

  9. Thanks for this, Mr Correia. And thanks for keeping things in the sf/f internet bubble…unpredictable. Your blog and your efforts here in particular are a reminder that people can’t be summed up by labels.

    I’ve been following the back and forth ever since the “Great Gender Binary Dispute” and I’m glad I found your site and your work. While I think the name calling in the comments sections is unproductive – on BOTH sides, but especially on the “Left” because they never get called on it – I believe the conversation you’ve generated has been valuable.

    In my case, I started reading various sf/f blogs several years ago when I began working on my own writing. I noticed the slant in opinions but didn’t seek out more diversity of thought. That changed recently and I found my way here. It’s been a good wake-up and a reminder that people can’t be defined by political labels and dismissive abbreviations (I grew up in a liberal household where Republicans were, shall we say, frowned upon. But we also hunted every quail/dove/pheasant season, a juxtaposition that couldn’t understand wasn’t a juxtaposition. So I don’t appreciate other people trying to define me one way or the other).

    But this rambling is all to say, thank you. I’ve faced mental illness myself and I think what your doing is awesome.

    Also, the Grimnoir Chronicles changed the way I think about UF. So thanks for that too!

  10. Oops – should read, “…a juxtaposition that many of my friends couldn’t understand wasn’t a juxtaposition.” Proofreading…

  11. Done. Help a worthy cause and a good dude, totally worth it.

    The downside? Risking our reputations as evil people for not marching in lockstep with the orthodoxy.

    I’d have opted for the shoot video…but couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a critique [maybe people could shoot their own range videos and post them along with a donation announcement?].

  12. This is a great cause. I’m in. I already owned Rob’s book Variant, but I hadn’t heard of Blackout. Just bought it as well, so Rob gets paid twice.

    1. Agreed! And Larry, use of tracers and tannerite would make short work of the tax code. Shoot up the tax code :D.

      1. There is the “Larry Shoots Stuff” option, but it’s out of my reach at the time. Of course, a few of us could go in on it…

        1. If some of you want to go in together on something, I’m cool. The important thing is that we help Rob get out of the hole so he can move on with life.

  13. Paid my due. I would’ve love for you to blow up O’Reilly Sendmail book, but I still use it, and I cannot afford to loose it.

  14. I’d pay extra if Larry would use a gold colored Desert Eagle in .50 AE.

    (In recognization of Monster Hunter Alpha.)

      1. I do not own either so I’d have to look around to borrow one.

        And some of you guys think I’m Bob Munden or something. 😀 I’m a pretty competent shooter, but shooting pennies out of the air and cutting cards in half… Let’s just say that there would be a whole LOT of video editing involved to get the clip down to under a hour.

        The goal isn’t to make it super expensive. Hey, Larry, go shoot some gold bricks. That kind of defeats the purpose of getting stuff to Rob.

      2. So NOT Annie Oakley level? What’s the biggest most ridiculous thing you could get your hands on? If we can’t get precision we can go for ridiculous over kill.

  15. Anyone think of actually involving the military on this one? They have a huge Mental Illness support base thanks to growing awareness of PTSD.

    I know a lot of soldiers who love reading Sci/Fi/Fantasy, Like to shoot things, and are often found with that “Never leave a wounded man behind.” mentality that makes them capable of pulling off some pretty cool stuff to help others.

    Plus, if anyone can get there hands on a GU-8, it might be them wacky folks in the Air Force… Just an idea.

  16. Okay, Larry.
    Long distance shot with a Mosin – Nahant Sniper Rifle at a crap load of tannerite plastered to a Bedazzled Hi-Point from Basin Sports, inside a Chevy Chevette or equivalent (Yugo?), inside an Enchanted Forest Trailer Park trailer.
    Lather, rinse, repeat until no longer.
    Because massive destruction.

    What say you?

    1. Now you’re going from “Pay to watch” territory to “Why can’t I pay to participate?”
      I can bring my own Mosin. Please? Please?

      1. The last Mosin I owned was an M44 with a pretty crappy barrel. To nail a coin at any decent range with that 6 MOA gun would take a lot of luck and ammo, mostly ammo. 🙂

        1. Well, ya got me there, but with as many kids as I have, I had to go “bang for your buck,” and $89 isn’t that many bucks. 😉

  17. Larry I have been fighting PTSD for most of my life and I’d just like to add my voice to those saying thanks for stepping up like this. You’re a good man . If you were Mad Mike I’d be talking about the single malt thank you waiting for you next time you’re in my town. Instead, cookies. Thanks man.

  18. Reblogged this on Reviews and Ramblings and commented:
    I’m a fan of Rob’s books, and I’ve known about his issues for a while now. If you’re a fan of any of the authors I think this is a fantastic chance to see something you wouldn’t see every day. Even if you’re not a fan, it’s a fantastic cause.

    1. The next time you run something like this, I’d pay to get killed off in one of your books.

  19. If you can find a few shooters with some 6.5 class guns (6.5 Grendel, Creedmoor, .260 Rem, etc) or 7mm class (7mm-08, .280 Rem, 7mm Rem Mag) and get out to 800 or so yards. Dope in and make those shots on about a dozen MHI coins… with video. Get a nice cert to go with it…

    Dooo iittt!

  20. No problem on the Desert Eagle or Rigby. I’d be happy seeing a large can of corn hit with your carry pistol. Please put the camera where it would get splattered with corn like Jerry Miculek did.


  21. Dude! You just beat your previous personal best of being named a Hatey McHater Person in the Guardian!

    You got an Instalanch!

    Have you picked out a place to display your Nobel Prize for Literature yet?


  22. Re: Student Loans

    A Disability Discharge is something Rob might want to look into. There’s paperwork available.

    My sympathies. I know how painful a long-term disability can be. I’m in, for whatever I can spare.

    Good luck to Rob.

  23. You could do balistics testing by stacking the entire “Wheel of Time” series in hard back form, and fireing into it with various types of ammo. What gun for overlong fiction? I’d pay to see that.

    1. This is completely out of left field, but maybe a family event would be good sometime, like organizing an annual charity Red Ryder marksmanship event for the kiddoes, $5 entrance fee per kid. My daughters are getting almost as good as me with their Daisy Pink Carbines. If it became a social event, my wife would release her grip on the family budget. Just a thought.

  24. Speaking as one of the messed up in the head people. Since I have ZERO trust in the internet (or computers, since I work with them i know exactly how far I can throw AND trust them the distances are similar) Is there a way I can just send money via Check/money order/Gold bits Or just a few wonderfully crafted notes of debt that the federal government prints in that nice green color that we colloquially know as cash

  25. You want an object to shoot?
    How bout, me in a BP vest. (You’ll have to come to Maryland to do it and probably have to do it on APG)

    But I’m perfectly willing to go for it especially for a charity. I am sure my ex wife and ex Mother in law would be willing to pony up good cash to see it.

  26. A belated “thank you” for helping to work on this project. I was able to donate AND won two author visits for my teen book group: Dan Wells and Jessica Day George! The kids at Pizza and Pages are super excited. Thanks so much.

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