Bestseller’s List

The day Elysium Dreams went to the top of the Amazon rankings, I checked out the rankings for the Kindle ebooks overall. And saw something interesting, but not surprising. 8 of the top 10 free ebooks in the overall Kindle Store were romance novels. Elysium Dreams eventually ranked 18th overall.

14 of the 17 books in front of it were romance novels, of some sort. Of the three that weren’t romance novels, 2 were written by men and the 3rd… well the 3rd is a series that I have tried to read because someone told me I would like them, they were like the Cain series, but with a male lead. I did try. But even though the romance is light in the series (the male is married), there is still more romance than what you’d find in the Dysfunctional Chronicles or Nephilim Narratives.

After those first 2 paragraphs, I have no doubt everyone now thinks this is a post dedicated to being annoyed by romance novels. But it isn’t. By 1:15 central time, I had 5,000+ downloads of Elysium Dreams. Enough to get me to 18th place in the Kindle Store overall and first in handful of genre categories, specifically crime fiction. Those 17 books ahead of me therefore by 1:15 central time, had more downloads than me. Possibly they were in the 10,000+ downloads for the day.

Now, those are some good numbers and by the end of the day, I myself would be in the 10,000+ downloads for the day. This means that all of 18 books (all by different authors) had great download days and we all ranked on Amazon. Not a single one of us will rank on any published bestseller list. Because the NY Times bestseller list as well as the big one in the UK, still only count physical book sales. To make the NY Times bestseller list, an author pretty much has to sell 5,000 physical books in a week. Which is practically impossible for an indy. The most physical books I’ve sold in a week is 34.

Now, I had 15,000 downloads of Elysium Dreams at the end of the day and it was only a Tuesday. Wednesday, I’ll continue to have downloads of both it and Tortured as well as all my other free books. This will publish before the end of the week, but I can estimate that this week alone, I will have more than 50,000 total downloads. And remember, I’m working solely with Amazon sales, because they are the only ones that report in “real time” everyone else reports on a daily or every other day basis.

I understand this is a free book, but free books lead to sales and the day Elysium Dreams hit 18, I sold (as in received royalties for non-freebies) nearly as many books that single day as I had all of the first 18 days of March across all retailers.

I’m sure the other 17 authors on that list can say the same thing (when I got my BookBub email, the other 3 non-romance novels were in my recommendations email, along with my own book).

Interestingly, while the NY Times still only uses physical books to count bestsellers, the USA today has begun using digital as well as physical sales. Meaning the USA Today is probably a more accurate bestseller list. Since I have 3 large bookshelves full of books and 1 half case full of books, I have been banned from buying physical books. Meaning nearly every book I buy is digital anymore… thereby not helping Clive Barker get to the top of the NY Times bestseller list when he releases a book.

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Analysis of D&R

I mentioned a day or two ago that someone had analyzed all the books in D&R. Today, I’m going to discuss some of the results of that analysis. There was a stance from the beginning of the project that Lyrica and Gabapentin had affected my writing. Both the publication (so slow) and the actual writing of them. Meaning there was quite a bit of comparison built in to the project.

One of the first things noticed was that the key words, the words that showed up most often could identify the book. The book Butchered Dreams had the iteration of Butcher, Butchered, and The Butcher, more than any of the other books in the series. The words Summoning and Summoned showed up more in Summoned Dreams than any other books. This was to be expected, but it was still neat to see it.

For books 1-11 and 14, I averaged 7,000 unique words per book (excluding names). And the readability score (how hard is it to read) were all around 5. For Flawless (book 12) and Demonic (Book 13). My unique words went down significantly to 5,500. And the readability score went up to a 7.1.

I prefer the lower readability score. I know that sounds strange, but one of the best compliments I’ve ever received on the series came from a medical examiner. He told me, “I don’t know anyone who can explain medical stuff like you do in your books.” Essentially, he was congratulating me on being able to get across my ideas in a way that were easy to understand, particularly the state of remains. Despite the fact that I am not involved in the medical field, I try to keep my deaths as realistic as possible. A lower readability score is indicative that nearly everyone can understand what I’m writing about whether it’s the goo that seeps out between the layers of skin when you get a deep cut or the results of a severe impact by a blunt object to the chest.

However, having fewer unique words is not a good thing. It indicates I repeated myself a great deal and failed to use a wide vocabulary while writing. I’m not sure this surprises me. I often complained it felt like I was struggling with aphasia while on these nerve pain medications. And my brain just worked slower and had to work harder to find thoughts, keep plots, and other things.

Furthermore, the books were considerably shorter and took longer to write. One would think that being shorter would mean that the readability score would be lower, but apparently, I didn’t express myself as thoroughly and effectively on Lyrica, as I did off it.

The time between books tripled on Lyrica. And my overall ratings (number of stars) was lower for these two books. Interestingly, from my own analysis of it, I had far fewer unique situations. My normal array of subplots and deaths, just didn’t happen in those 2 books. Even more bizarre, The Dysfunctional Mob is more in line with D&R than either Flawless or Demonic Dreams.

So, I wanted to check readability and unique word score for Ritual Dreams. I wrote half the book on Lyrica and half of it off. The first 13 chapters have a higher readability score, than the last 14. And the first 13 took longer to write than the last 14 chapters. The unique word score is also back to my average, but only because I seem to have expanded my vocabulary in the last 14 chapters.

The conclusion, Lyrica and Gabapentin really did hinder my ability to write.

But Something Happened

Most of the time, when someone mentions something paranormal or exterrestrial, we all roll our eyes and have a decent chuckle. We often dismiss the situation completely at that moment and put it out of our minds. However, while these explanations seem ridiculous, we often forget that something did have to happen.

Take for example the 1908 Tunguska event. In 1908, a UFO (by the strictest definition, not necessarily aliens) exploded over a remote region of Siberia. We know of the explosion because it flattened trees and drove wildlife off. The most likely explanation is a meteor. Sometimes, after entering Earth’s atmosphere meteorites do indeed explode.

It’s Siberia so there weren’t a lot of witnesses. However, something obviously happened, trees were uprooted and laid down. Plus, for most of the last 100+ years, wildlife has avoided the area and nothing has really grown there.

So, while it is unlikely that an alien spacecraft exploded, there can be no doubt that something extraordinary happened. And that the something did involve radiation, probably from space. I point this out because we know that extreme radiation poisoning of soil does drive away wildlife. We’ve seen it at both Chernobyl and Two Mile Island.

It is easy to snicker and laugh when someone says “it might have been aliens”… But the possibility is less farfetched than we might think. Since the 1950s, humans have been littering outer space with junk in the form of defunct satellites, expelled rocket jets, and even tools lost during space walks and repairs to the ISS and shuttles.

It is illogical to believe we are the only intelligent life in the universe. And it is within reason to believe that other life is just as advanced, if not more so, than us. Is it not possible then that they also have space junk floating around just outside their atmosphere? And if their space junk was caught in the tail of a passing comet, it is possible it could travel millions of miles away from their own planet. Making it possible that some meteors could indeed be space junk from other advanced civilizations on distant planets.

And while I realize a lost wrench from Sirius B is not exactly a little green alien. It is still extraterrestrial. Essentially, the point is, we dismiss this stuff immediately and politely smile. But we humans only truly know so much about our planet and the universe. There are hundreds of things that could be beyond our current explanation, that eventually we’ll understand. This includes ghosts, aliens, and strange happenings like the Tunguska Event. If you had said 300 years ago, that invisible living things caused illness, you would have been snickered at. But today, we know that is the exact cause of most illnesses. Just something to consider the next time you hear Malachi talk about cattle mutilations.

Analytics

My best friend is finishing a second master’s degree in something technology related. One of her classes was big data analytics. She made the decision to analyze the D&R series. There were some interesting things discovered. However, the project isn’t due until today, so I won’t be releasing her findings until later this week.

However, I will go ahead and say she did find significant differences between D&R books written under the influence of Gabapentin and Lyrica and the others in the series. Not just in length or quickness of publishing, but in word choices and things.

Today, though, I have an advert for Elysium Dreams running on BookBub. And Ritual Dreams remains on pre-order for just a couple more days. Just as a reminder, I moved the publishing date from April 1 to March 22nd. So you only have 3 more days to wait.

I also have a much better idea of how this year is going to go (as far as writing is concerned) and can give better estimates on release dates for a couple of books. Avenging Reality will publish at Halloween. Anonymous Dreams will come out in December. Goddess Investigations in July and Oh My Wizard in September. And Dysfunctional Expansion in November.

This does mean a heavy end of the year publishing schedule, but as I am cranking out books pretty easily right now, I realized there was going to end up being a cluster somewhere, might as well have it at the end of the year to kick 2020 off in a good way (November and December royalties won’t pay out until January and February).

PS: I have 3 books that are still marked as WiP that will probably get put out in 2020. All of them are stand-alone novels. Throughout the day, I’ll be checking my Amazon rankings with the BookBub advert running. Tomorrow, I’ll post how it went. Currently, Tortured and Elysium Dreams are ranked #35 and #36 in crime fiction > serial killers on Amazon. I think they will both hit 1 in a couple of categories today. And the rankings on some of the other books in the series will also rise quite a bit. More on that later this week though.

The First Flood Warnings Issued

When you’ve been experiencing a massive drought (multiple years) and then suddenly have an exceptionally wet winter that leads to a wet spring, you get flash flooding. Most people don’t think of snow as rain, but it is and lots of snow equals lots of rain. How much exactly? For every 1 inch of rain, you get roughly 10 inches of snow.

Between November 2018 and March 14, 2019, my area of mid-Missouri received a total of 35 inches of snow. Or just over 3 inches of rain. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but we’ve been in a drought for the last 8 years or so. Plus, we normally only get 43 inches of rain in a year anyway. I’m fairly sure we got 9+ inches of rain before the snow started to fall.

And since the turn of the year? Just looking at 2019, we’ve had 23 inches of snow, which is just over 2 inches of rain. Then during the day of March 24, we got another inch of rain. So it’s March and we’ve gotten more than 3 inches of rain already and the “wet” season hasn’t even started yet, not really. Normally, April, May, September, and October are our wettest months averaging 5 1/2 inches of rain during each of these months.

That means those 4 months usually account for over half our rainfall in a year. While 3 inches in 3 months doesn’t sound like much, it is. Not to mention the dozen or so states that contribute water to the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. And all those states have gotten the same massive amount of snow that we have and are now getting pummelled with rain (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois for the Mississippi and Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Nebraska for the Missouri and the two rivers meet in St. Louis, Missouri). These rivers can’t be understood separately, they are the fourth largest river system in the world and the Missouri River is the longest in North America while the Mississippi is the second longest in North America.

And I’m not sure the drought cycle didn’t begin to end in August 2018. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a year as wet as this one. Not just the snow, but the massive amounts of rain. Even during the winter months, I remember thinking multiple times “at least it’s not so cold it’s snow”…

So why do flood warnings give me pause? Missouri doesn’t go underwater like coastal states such as Louisiana, but we are bisected by the Missouri River. In 1993 (the year of our last major flood) portions of Northern Missouri were cut off from portions of Southern Missouri unless you wanted to drive hundreds of miles out of the way. Even some minor flooding in 2001 created difficulties for me when I was living in Columbia, but working in the state capital of Jefferson City, just 37 miles from my driveway to my office building parking lot and minor flooding prevented me from going to work without driving either east or west 50 miles before heading south.

I don’t live close enough to the Missouri River (it’s 20 miles or so south of my house) to worry about it flooding us out, but I have a lot of friends in Southern Missouri and flooding could mean a separation that results in some changed plans. And we have a lot of friends in St. Louis. Our campground in Northern Missouri is 20 miles from Hannibal, Missouri where the 200th anniversary of the town is being celebrated this year and there is a lot planned for the celebration. Hannibal sits so close to the Mississippi River that the town has flood walls to help try and keep water out of the city. During major floods, the walls are useless.

Furthermore, tourism is a huge industry in Missouri and flooding affects it greatly, because the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are part of it and so are three recreational lakes: Lake of the Ozarks, Mark Twain Lake (where our campground is) along with Table Rock Lake near Branson. Flooding could damage an economy that’s already struggling. Not to mention that we are supposed to be implementing medical marijuana. Jefferson City, our capital where all the paperwork for the medical marijuana industry is being processed, sits on the Missouri River. Massive flooding means lower tourism at towns like Hannibal, St. Louis, Kansas City, Branson, and the towns that surround Lake of the Ozarks. Not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.

Missouri isn’t California, Louisiana, Texas, or South Carolina. When we experience massive flooding, no one really notices the damage left in its wake. And flooding is often followed by more flooding. In 1993 we experienced the worst flood we’d ever had. It was followed up in 1995 by the fourth worst flood we’d ever experienced. However, because we aren’t one of these other massive tourist states, we don’t get federal funds very quickly. The flooding in 1993 was bad enough that it was declared a federal disaster, but it wasn’t until late 1994 that we got our first federal grant for clean-up and repair. The flooding in 1995 set all that back and it was another 2 years before the leevees and things could be rebuilt. Just because the water receded didn’t mean the crisis was over. But it was 1998 before we had a huge release of federal funds to assist with clean-up. I was working for the Missouri Department of Health by then and one of my first non-secretarial assignments was helping collect data on chronic illnesses related to flooding (there are a lot), but it took us that long to get the funding for the study from the CDC and NIH.

So, when the flood warnings start going out, I take a few moments to think about it. And it’s far too early in the year for flood warnings (the first is usually the end of April or first half of May).

Montverde

Many years ago, probably close to 2 decades ago, I had a discussion with my best friend about civilization in the Americas. I told her I thought the Bering Land Bridge migration was utter nonsense. Considering it was during an ice age, it would make more sense for migratory humans to cross via boat. Because the area where the Bering Land Bridge is today, would not be particularly hospitable, and because most Native Americans (both from the north and south) had folklore tales that were supposed to take place before the end of the last ice age but were obviously set in the Americas.

I’m doing a free trial of Great Courses Plus (which will be a seperate blog post). The first “lesson” I grabbed was on Pre-Columbian civilizations in South America. I admit, when it comes to history, South America and Africa are my weakest areas.

Essentially, I can talk a bit about Incas and the Nazca lines, but everything else going on in South America until Nazis start showing up there in the 1940s is out of my capabilities.

I binge watched the first 6 episodes in this lecture series while playing video games. And in lecture 2, there was discussion about Montverde. It’s an archaeological site in South America that dates to approximately 15,000 BP (before present). Meaning those guys didn’t get to South America via the Bering Strait land bridge. Total there are 5 sites in North and South America that date from about the same time period and they are all older than when we originally thought humans came to the Americas.

15,000 BP is roughly 13,000 BCE or BC. That is about the same time Gobekli Tepe was being built and used in Turkey. We were actually getting towards the end of the last major ice age which ends in 10,000 BCE (or BC). If these people had come across the Bering Strait land bridge, they would have had to do it around 25,000 BP or 27,000 BCE, because it takes a while to walk from Alaska in North America to Chile in South America. Then they set up cities (Montverde is a city of approximately 5,000 people, not a village). Which again takes times.

This means while there is evidence that people did migrate via Beringa (the area where ice would have connected land in Russia to Alaska), it is unlikely it was the only migration or migration point. When I was in high school, in the 1990s, we were still being taught that humans migrated only once to the Americas via the Bering Strait land bridge around 11,000 BCE. The working theory at the time was that they followed game through Beringia and then got stuck in the Americas when the ice began to melt, and spread out to the east and south.

I remember reading an article in either National Geographic or Archaeology Today (remember, I’m a nerd) when I was in high school about a place in South America that pre-dated all other human habitations previously found. It wasn’t Montverde, it was in North America, near the east Coast of the US, but I have forgotten the name now.

My guess is that as I test other courses (I have about 50 history courses along with some science in my watch list), I’ll end up doing lots of blog posts regarding subject matter that I have either been re-introduced to or exposed to for the first time. And less than 24 hours into my 14 day free trial, I’m in love, so I’m sure there will be a blog post in the future reviewing Great Courses as a whole.

Booming Earth Phenomenon

On the morning of March 4th, while I was playing discussing Pablo Picasso via text message with my bestie, there was a loud boom. It was a little after 10 am. I was in the garage and the garage doors shook as did the walls of the house. Now, I live only a couple miles from the trash dump for my city as the crow flies and this wasn’t the first massive unexplained boom I’d heard nearby.

However, my first thought was less about the boom and more about Lola. Lola was outside and she, like most dogs does not handle loud booms very well. I raced upstairs and outside and sure enough, Lola was shaking and ready to come inside. I gave her a trazadone for her fear (she refuses to even try a Thunder Shirt, wearing clothing stresses her out). Then I sat with her, just petting her and letting her know it was okay.

About noon, my local news station popped up a report on the loud boom. It was being investigated because there was no definite cause and it hadn’t been heard just near my house, but in the towns to the north of where I live. My sister on the other side of the city had also experienced it.

I’ve read about booming Earth phenomenon before. This is just what it sounds like, loud booms with no definite source that seem to come from within the Earth. But I’ve never experienced it personally. I live close enough to Whiteman Air Force Base that I grew up with flyovers by Stealth bombers (the B2) and I’ve experienced plenty of sonic booms. It oddly didn’t feel or sound like a sonic boom. It sounded and felt like an explosion. In an ironic twist, the day before at 3:30 am, a natural gas line approximately 30 miles from me did suffer a catastrophic failure and there was an explosion followed by a fire. But I didn’t hear or feel that explosion.

I’ve read books about booming Earth phenomenon and it does appear in history records going as far back as Ancient Egypt. And with no other explanation handy, it was most likely an Earth boom that we all heard. They are becoming more common, but we don’t understand why they happen and we can’t predict them.

There are tons of theories about what causes an Earth boom, but so far, we’ve been unable to prove any of them. And their cause remains a mystery.

Socialism in the US

There are currently a lot of anti-Socialism posts on social media. Especially in the US. This is because people don’t realize how much we benefit from socialist programs. Does your child attend public school? Do you ever go to the park? As any of your family served in the military and now gets free health care through the VA medical assistance program for vets? You can thank Socialism.

Before 1930, in order for a child to attend a day at school, it cost money. Not like School taxes money, but physical money. The child had to show up with it that morning. It was usually between 10 and 50 cents per day. I’m not talking about lunch money, a child had to pack their lunch every day for school unless a parent was planning on bringing lunch in. I’m talking about a daily fee that was required to attend school. If a kid showed up without that money, they were sent home. This is why more kids worked than attended school. Most families couldn’t afford to pay to send their kids to the 3rd grade or 6th grade. Especially in rural areas where school fees were often the highest because of the small size of the school.

Do you visit National or State Parks? Ever seen the beauty of Yellowstone or taken pictures at the Grand Canyon? These places only exist because of Socialist programs that encouraged “free public use areas” that could be enjoyed by anyone, not just the rich who could afford to own those lands.

Over a million men returned from WWI suffering a disability whether that be a missing limb, shell shock, or shrapnel lodged near their spine removing their ability to walk. You know what they were given? A thank you. That’s it. Veteran’s benefits didn’t exist at the time. If you went to war and were disabled when you came back, shit happens, good luck with the rest of your life. The department of Veterans Affairs was created in 1930. And it oversaw death benefits as well as disability for veterans. It too is a product of Socialist thinking.

The idea of a Socialist Republic (which is what most “advanced” countries in the world are) was applauded for their progressive thinking and ideas of society not abandoning its citizens to the wolves should something happen to them. It only became “bad” in the 1950s, when the Cold War between the US and the USSR began. But here’s a secret the USSR wasn’t a socialist or even communist government system. It was an elected dictatorship.

Here’s what gets me. Americans want to talk about how generous we are, but they want nothing to do with socialist programs that benefit everyone. At some point, the life of every American will benefit from the Socialist Republic they live in. Yet, Socialism is “evil”. If you think you won’t, then don’t drive a car because the building and upkeep of roads is a Socialist program. As is public transportation.

If we want to remove Socialism in the US, here’s a short list of things that will go away. Transportation (roads, public transport), free education, disability for the disabled as well as Veterans. Death benefits paid to a spouse if their spouse dies. Free parks. Oh and the big one FIRE DEPARTMENTS! Prior to the adoption of socialist programs, you had to pay for Fire Security Insurance. If your house caught fire, there was a good chance it would still burn down, because only your company would respond. This means that six fire engines might respond, but only one would be from the company you paid for, so if it took a long time for that company to arrive, your house would burn down before they arrived, even though there were 5 other fire trucks there that could put it out. Our police force is also a Socialist program. You don’t pay a detective to take your robbery case, because it’s paid for by taxes. But prior to the adoption of socialist programs, if you were the victim of a crime, you had to pay to have it looked into. Also, our military is a Socialist organization. It is paid for by tax dollars, you do not have to pay for it individually. Meaning I don’t have to send a cash payment to Whiteman Air Force base every week to make sure that if Missouri is invaded I’ll be protected from the invaders by the military.

If you want to bash socialism, that’s your prerogative, but you should at least understand it completely. In the US there are more than 100 programs that benefit society that are based on socialist ideas. Other Socialist Republic countries are Germany, Canada, France, Australia, Italy, Russia, Spain, Mexico, South Africa, Japan, (nearly all of Europe). The UK is a Constitutional Monarchy that has adopted a Socialist Republic policy.

Socialism is about taking care of citizens, regardless. Even you’re vacation days from your job, is the result of Socialism. If you still think socialism should be removed, that’s fine. My tax dollars don’t need to pay for your child to go to school and if you become disabled and unable to work, well then you’d better hope your relatives can afford to take care of you, because disability (SSI) is a socialist program. And you may have to make some tough choices, because if you give birth to a disabled child (a child who will probably never pay into SSI in the US), you had better be prepared to pay for everything that child will ever need for their entire lives, because they won’t get disability payments, Medicare/Medicaid, or job training. Considering disabled children are often far more expensive than non-disabled children, we are talking about millions of dollars. And you can’t let them go into foster care or an assisted living program, because both of these are Socialist programs.

The Glamorized Serial Killer

The serial killer in literature is an interesting thing. Recently, a reader shared an opinion article that writers like myself were glamorizing serial killers. But I beg to disagree. I don’t think most fictional crime writers think about their serial killers after the book ends. And of all the literature I’ve read featuring serial killers only two stand out in my memory.

The first is Hannibal Lecter, because Anthony Hopkins brought that role to life. The book version of Hannibal is interesting, but he isn’t as appealing as the version played by Sir Anthony. And if you doubt that, watch the movie Manhunter from 1986. It is based on Harris’ first book Red Dragon. Hannibal Lecter is played by Brian Cox. I remember it so well, I had to Google it to figure out the name of it.

The second is Alton Turner Blackwood the killer in What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz. But I don’t remember him because he was scary or glamorous, I remember him because Dean Koontz had him demonically possessed into being a serial killer.

As for the serial killers in D&R (there have been more than 14 of them at this point), I don’t remember the names of any of them except the one from Ritual Dreams. Did you catch that? Even though I am currently writing Anonymous Dreams, I can’t remember the name of the killer even as I write this post. This is partly because I have a terrible memory and partly because in D&R the serial killer is a device. They exist solely so Aislinn, Gabriel, Xavier, Lucas, and Fiona can do something beyond sitting around having conversations over cups of coffee. Well, that and people enjoy reading serial killer thrillers/horror.

I think most writers are like me. Their serial killers are devices to give the story a plot, not a creation meant to make serial killers seem cool or glamorous. However, I will say if every fictional serial killer was below average intelligence and had trouble functioning in society, the serial killer thriller genre would quickly die away.

The Dopplegänger

Germanic mythology states that every person on the planet has a dopplegänger. However, the purpose of it, depends on which myths you look at. A doppleganger is a double. And there may be some truth to it.

I have some personal experience with a doppleganger. As does my mother. I have not met my doppleganger nor my mom’s, which is probably good because it’s considered bad luck to meet your double. My story:

I was in a restaurant for lunch one day with some coworkers. I was 17 at the time and I was enjoying fajitas. When a woman suddenly came up to our table and said my first name and asked what I was doing there. I had never met this woman in my life, so it was odd that she knew my name. I explained I was having lunch with a coworker and she asked why we had come all the way to Columbia for lunch. Um, we work in the Columbia office of the Missouri Department of Health, it’s really only a couple miles from here to our office. After a few more confused sentences we realized I must not be the woman she thought I was as the woman she thought I was worked for a doctor’s office in a town called Montgomery City.

The woman was insistent that we could pass for twins and it was stranger that we had the same first name. After the woman left my coworker commented that the woman must not spend much time with the girl she mistook me for. I agreed and we continued on with lunch.

Some years later while shopping with a friend, a man came up to me and started talking to me like he had known me my entire life and yet, I had never met him. He asked how Holly was… I asked who was Holly and he got a strange look and said “your mom.” Um, no, my mom’s name is Mollie, not Holly. We realized he was looking for the girl that worked at the doctor’s office in Montgomery City and we went our separate ways.

Total I’ve had five or six of these encounters with people from Montgomery City being surprised by my presence in Columbia. The two places are only 51 miles from each other, really not that far.

Perhaps the oddest part of these encounters though is that my mom apparently has a doppleganger named Holly from Montgomery City and over the years, she’s had a dozen or so encounters with people who have mistaken her for Holly from Montgomery City. Is it possible that my mom’s doppelganger Holly is the mother of my doppelganger that shares my name?

My mom’s maternal side of the family hails from Montgomery City. Meaning it is possible that Holly is a distant cousin of my mother’s. How on earth that lead to my mom’s doppelganger giving birth to a daughter that would share my name and have her genes express in such a way that we can pass as twins, is beyond me. Especially since I have been told all my life how much I look like my father who does not have any distant relations in Montgomery City.

My story is less unique than one might think. If you spend some time on Reddit searching for stories of doppelgangers, you’ll find plenty. And while my doppelganger is apparently a nurse in a much smaller town, some consider doppelgangers to be sinister apparitions. Some stories of doppelgangers make them demonic beings who are trying to steal the lives of their doubles. Others say they’re an omen of death and that meeting your doppelganger foretells that one of you will die soon.

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