Jake Bible: My Life as a Phoenix

Disturbing & witty writer of cannibalis, zombies & melty metal Jake Bible gives us a meditation on writing & endings:

…Fall is a time of change. It is the death of all things.

Some may say Winter is when death occurs, but Winter is the season of the grave, not the season of death. Just look at the trees outside your window, or the grass, or the squirrel sitting on your window, his face pressed against the glass, his tiny, furry lips, mouthing, “Dear God, man! Let me in! I’m dying out here! The stupid birds have taken all the acorns! I’M GONNA DIE!”.

So, Fall is death. My birthday is at the end of October, smack dab in the middle of the death throws. And, as far back as I can remember, strange shit happens around my birthday. It used to be that I would get sick (a cold, the flu, plague, cold-flu plague, herpes), spend my birthday hacking and coughing (or oozing), get myself put back together and then have a brand new look on life. Especially since the pustules didn’t kill me.

But, I have kids now. No time for daddy to fall down foaming from the mouth! That means my body doesn’t fall apart and give me the mental rest that is a by-product of convalescence. Instead, the Universe hands me other crises. Family disappearing (true story), major work changes (don’t get me started), school insanity (I am married to a teacher and have two kids). And, the really crazy part, the publishing of my novels.

Last year DEAD MECH was published, this year I will be publishing The Americans (the sidequel to DEAD MECH). Sure, you might say that publishing novels is not like death, but you would be wrong. Finally publishing a novel that has taken a year from start to finish is like death. It’s like finally putting a good friend (or nasty tormentor!) to rest.

You kinda have to say goodbye and let go.

With that death comes the inevitable rebirth, the rising of the phoenix, if you will. My brain is lighter, my body is unburdened by the weight of the stress, my soul is yearning for more to create. There is a freedom to the death (publishing) of a novel.

As I sit here and write this I am a mouse-click away from launching The Americans. Sure, there is a lot of work to be done once the novel is published, but there is always a lot of work to do after death. A lot of work. But, that doesn’t seem to matter so much as the feeling that I am free to create anew. That I can start over with a new novel or project.

That, in a year’s time, I will be right back here again, ready to lay another novel in its grave and begin the next one.

The circle of life, folks, the circle of life. When you’re me. A phoenix that flames out and rises from the ashes as an ugly, little, squawking nub of a writer, ready to sprout feathers and fly.

Fly, little phoenix, fly!

And I better start flying because, before I know it, Death will be knocking at my door and I’ll have to say goodbye to my novel (or life?) once again.

Burn, baby, burn! Phoenix out, yo.


Jake currently lives in the Asheville, NC area with his wife, two kids, two dogs & one cat. And although he writes about zombies and cannibals, Jake does not eat of the flesh himself (that means he’s a vegetarian, son. I say, I say, stop bein’ so dense, ya hear?). But, he will eat the non-homicidal animal foodstuffs because pizza is it’s own food group and soy cheese just ain’t gonna cut it. True story.

He is currently represented by Adrienne Rosado of PMA Literary and Film Management Agency.

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