Latest stories

Explaining Santa Claus

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The first question all of us kids asked each other when we were back in school was, "what did you get for Christmas?" If you or someone you know got a lot of awesome presents from Santa, it must be because you were good enough to deserve them. If you didn't get any presents, or you got bad, boring gifts, it must be because you deserved them as well—you must have been naughty throughout the year...

The Impact of the Attention Economy and New Media on Individual and Societal Well-Being

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I find myself looking up from one of my displays after scrolling for an indeterminable length of time and thinking, “What am I doing? Why am I doing this? How long was I out? What the hell just happened?” As it turns out, I am not alone. Over the past few decades, the attention economy has taken on a more prominent role in our society—both in the marketplace of ideas and the literal economic...

Felled

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They came without warning, without provocation, and without mercy. I was spared, but not left unscarred. They came for my neighbors and my kin, all of whom were taken without a word of protest. We couldn’t understand what was happening—not at first. The first few fell flat on their back and just lay there, disbelieving, not wanting to believe what was happening. Then came the butchering. I...

SELF-PERCEPTION AND PERSISTENT IDENTITY

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“How are you?” is often used as a filler in conversation, and it’s an extremely versatile question, but lately it’s been giving me trouble. It can mean: “How are you feeling?” “What have you been doing lately?” “Where are you headed?” and sometimes it’s just something we say after “hello” as a pleasantry. The sense that I’ve gotten stuck on is when the emphasis is placed on the verb, “How are you...

Collecting Ghosts

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When I was in high school, I would try to punish people who crossed me by “excommunicating” them. Not from the Church—I lacked the papal authority for that—but from myself. I would refuse to talk to the individual either in person or online, ignore them whenever they tried to get my attention, and generally treat them as if they didn’t exist. Now, we call this practice...

Loose Zen

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I’ve been failing to meditate for over a decade. When I sit for zazen, I try for a half lotus each time, and the first several minutes are always about adapting to the discomfort. I guess I have bad posture, generally speaking, because I also strain to keep my spine straight. It always feels like I’m going to tip over. Instead of focusing on a mantra or koan, I try to just practice...

Show Me the Way to Go Home

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It’s been over a year, and I still don’t feel quite at home in this house. I still think of it as “The Murder House”. Not because of any actual murders—none that I know of, anyway,—that’s just what I called it when we first toured the property. My son had been born a week earlier and everyone was flipping out about it. My parents, my wife’s parents, and my grandmother were all in town for...

Current Projects: Winter 2021

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I quit my day job in 2018 because I was fed up with how other people were spending my time, and I wanted to see what I would do with it if no one was buying it from me. At the time, I was rewriting a novel I had (foolishly) self-published back in 2016, finishing a second one I started in 2015, and trying to find a way to make writing more of a central focus in my life. By the end of 2018, I had...

Opening the Garage

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Here, let me show you my workbench. For too long, I’ve been working with the garage door closed, making my machinations invisible to the curiosity of any passers-by. That closed-off outward appearance might even make it look like I haven’t been working on anything at all. But I have. And I’d like to share some of it with you. Let me start by showing you my tools and—in time—we...

My Tattoo

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When did I get like this? My whole face is peppered with gray––and is that white? How did this happen?

I face my reflection every day, but somehow I haven’t noticed the change.

Ian Hayes

Former technical support and customer service professional, now freelance writer and entrepreneur writing Horror, Narrative Nonfiction, and Literary/Speculative Fiction.

Also backpacker, rock climber, casual biker, woodworker and armchair philosopher.

Currently living in Portland, Oregon, but also from New York, Alabama, New Mexico, Virginia, Georgia, Connecticut and Tennessee.

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I'll be honest, social media use can be unhealthy and I'm trying to stay away from it as much as I can. That being said, I have accounts on several of them and I'd love to hear from you however you feel most comfortable communicating.