Dive Into The Social Deep | Announcements and Updates

Sheena Monster
23 min readApr 27, 2022

The Social Deep is moving…

Coffee & Contemplation

Update | April 2, 2024

I’ve decided to streamline. The stories I’ve published through Medium publications will remain as they are, but everything else will be moving to my very own website.

www.thesocialdeep.com

See ya there!

Update | December 30, 2023

The end of the year always brings such bittersweet reverie, doesn’t it? When we sit in reflection of the days that have passed and anticipate the days to come, remembering the ache of loss and the emptiness of mourning and hoping that we grow to fit our grief before the year ends. Something about the way this pattern repeats itself has become necessary, has become routine to the point of

These last few weeks have been more than a little emotional, filled with a lot of loss and change and adjustment that I was not ready for but have come to recognize most of it as necessary. It’s the right moon for it…right season, too. None of that makes a damn bit of difference. It still hurts, I am still sad, and I am still disappointed. There is a tightness in my chest, like a weight is crushing me from all sides, and a queasy feeling in my guts. I keep catching myself holding my breath, and then my mind floods with intrusive thoughts that fill the wells of my eyes with tears that have yet to drain themselves dry. No amount of logic or rationale is going to change that. That’s where the gradient of the grey area comes into focus, and here I am filtering through the bits and pieces left of the life I had built before, clinging to shards of silver and precious stone to create a new frame.

I carry the shame of chasing the dragon in this crusade of contentment, however, I am not entirely certain how I am to survive this conflagration. Happiness is close enough to taste but not to grasp, always slipping through my fingertips, and explaining this pursuit to the outsiders looking in is like trying to drain an empty fountain. So taken by the smoke and mirrors created to hide the reality of the heartache and chaos that lurks just beneath the surface, they miss the ocean shelf trenches and pitch black caverns.

Update | November 29, 2023

Currently lingering in a void somewhere between being on the right track and watching everything slip through my fingers, like quicksand that also sucks me under, slowly consumes my will to live. Was that overly dramatic, or is the visual more or less relatable?

Yesterday I found out that I have about eleven weeks left of classes — that will be stretched to about fourteen weeks to account for winter break — so, that’s exciting. I will be sliding through this last checkpoint on some awfully raw road rash, but I am so close to the finish line that I can taste the victory lap. Come spring, I will be due a pay increase and then I am due for my annual raise in May…and I will be enrolled in my Master’s program come August. It’s great that things are in motion and coming together…but my patience is definitely wearing thin and while I love my routines, I loathe repetitive redundancy.

It’s weird that I completely forgot I had started posting monthly updates for two solid months — a routine that has not yet caught on, apparently — because I talk about this blog at least weekly. I would say that I talk about it daily, but that would be an exaggerated embellishment of a lie…I don’t socialize in any capacity that would afford the opportunity to talk about anything daily. Along this vein, I recently ordered some samples of my coffee mugs and a couple of my notebooks. I would be lying if I said that wasn’t pretty exciting on its own, everything should be here in a week or three.

My good friend Johnny B and I have been discussing revitalizing our old podcast endeavor, about maybe reviving our fluid and engaging dynamic; perhaps recruiting another co-host or three to create a sizable content backlog. I suppose that could be cool. To be entirely honest, the whole thing makes me nervous. I invested so much time and energy and effort into getting the last podcast/brand off the ground and it all crash-landed before it ever hit a ceiling — complete air-ball, a total dud. Quite frankly, it felt like I was the only one involved that gave a flying fuck about the project at all, and it was undeniable that I was the one doing all the work. To be fair it was my idea, but I thought I had made it clear that I want it to be a collaborative project that can benefit everyone involved — everyone loved/s the sound of that part, but gods forbid anyone actually participate in the production of a single episode. Of course I am not blaming Johnny, he was doing me a solid from day one; but his first day was not the start of that old dud of a podcast endeavour. I had had two co-hosts prior to Johnny stepping up to cover my ass, and I had at least as many after Johnny took an indefinite hiatus. It really just wasn’t meant to be — and here I am considering doing it all over again. I guess at least this time I would have a better plan, or any plan for that matter…

That’s it, I guess. I really need to get to bed, I work in a few hours…

Until next time.

Update | August 22, 2023

Not much has changed since last month. I posted a sample for my new short story today — yesterday I slept most of the day, because that is all I have the energy for on my days off these days… Maybe I should feel bad or lazy or other, but I don’t. I only feel drained and overworked. My job isn’t horrible, but it’s emotionally taxing. Like most jobs, I suppose, but I find myself drained at the thought of waking and I know that isn’t normal and even if it is…it isn’t healthy.

New classes started yesterday, too, but I haven’t really looked at the course work yet — too busy catching up on much needed sleep. I am down to my last four classes for my degree, which is exciting and completely surreal. Hard to imagine that it’s almost over… Guess that’s because it’s not really almost over in my head yet — I have another degree after this before I can actually do anything with it. Still kind of exciting though, and I should get a little pay raise in a few months from it.

I started back to therapy last week — a week ago today, to be exact. Although it’s too soon to tell if it’ll help, it was a promising session. My therapist has many of the credentials I am working toward and an interest in my spiritual practices, so she already understands parts of me that many find “eccentric” and “taboo”. Our next session isn’t for another week and a half, and I find myself wishing I had opted for weekly appointments instead of bi-weekly appointments but that is something that can change easily enough. Something tells me it will change sooner than later…

Over all, I have been much worse than I am now — but I am still mostly miserable and exhausted and mourn the life I lost a year ago, and I still struggle every day to make sense of this new path I’m on. Obviously I can’t quit — not now; not after everything I have put into after picking up all the shards of my dignity and surviving, into salvaging what little drive and passion I have left. Still, my patience is wearing thin. Everyone always tries to tell me that I need to take baby steps and to give it time — but no one acknowledges or knows the years that have gone into navigating my warped mind enough to get anything I’ve ever had, only to lose it all. And yes, I am still stuck on that. Who can honestly say that they lost everything because of bureaucratic bullshit and wasn’t still bitter a year later? There is a good chance I will stay bitter until I get to where I was headed when it all came crashing down, and I’m not sorry for it.

Baloo is doing well —

Baloo circa August 2023

— barreling into his adolescence without a care in the world. He needs a baby brother, but I am not ready to bring home another baby quite yet. Mostly because I want a little more of an age gap between them. The last time I had two so close in age, they both grayed at the same time. It was bittersweet to see them grow old together, but I’m not sure I could handle a puppy and a teen at the same time right now. I am already stretched thin.

I have another short story in progress, the first draft is about half-finished. Between work and classes, I found it difficult to write two stories in tandem so I set one aside for few weeks. The Disappearance of Amari Shepherd is a bit more involved than Maelstrom Mind, as far as plot and such goes. The latter being a part of a collection with a collective plot that comes together in pieces; The Disappearance of Amari Shepherd will likely stand alone, and may turn out to be more a novella than a short story — that’s how it is feeling at this point, but that could change. Only time will tell. Also, I am also working on reformatting Aftermath of a Madman, which also has a new cover, so it is currently only available as an eBook. Hopefully that goes smoothly and swiftly.

Anyway, I think that’s all the update I have for now. Don’t forget to check out Maelstrom Mind and leave a review! I love to hear from my readers, so also checkout my social media — @SheenaMonst3r [across all platforms] — and remember to Subscribe, Follow, Like, and Share!

Update | July 9, 2023

I suppose it’s time for another update — maybe I will try to make updates a monthly goal…

Work has been much more peaceful than my last job — still not what I want to be doing, exactly, but definitely a useful and appreciated stepping stone. I get to spend the last half of my shift reading, which is nice because I never had time to read for pleasure after work. Much of my time outside of work is concentrated on my classes, which are also going fairly well.

I have been making some updates to my blog shop , though I still have a lot of work to do to get it where I want. Trying to decide what type of merchandise I want to offer has been a little too much for my plate these last few months, but I have found a little room on it recently. A collection of the coffee mugs will soon find its way into my kitchen…and into some pictures, of course.

Pensive Skull Mug

Baloo has been adjusting well to our new place, so that’s reassuring. He loves finding sticks that have fallen into the yard — I buy him tennis balls and other tug/fetch toys…he prefers sticks. Our downstairs neighbours have three dogs, one of whom is large enough to play with but is currently terrified of him. I think we are going to try to remedy that… To be fair, Baloo is weighing in at just over 97lbs now — his first birthday was just in April, so he is still filling out…I would wager that he will break 100lbs by fall/winter.

Baloo | June 29, 2023

I have been working on a new short story over the past week — make sure to subscribe for email notifications, so you don’t miss out!

One of my current classes is a fiction writing workshop. Apparently, that has knocked something loose from my writer’s block…

I have been giving some thought to creating a(nother) new cover for my book, Aftermath of a Madman, and the short story, The Hole. There is nothing wrong with the current covers, in my opinion, however, I have been giving some serious thought to employing my pen name. Both titles were published before I fully embraced my long-time sobriquet, and now it just feels wrong to use my legal name. Even people in my neighbourhood know me as my alias — which works for me, as the last name does not feel like it’s mine. Plus, much of what I write has a horror twist on it, so Monst3r just sort of makes sense…it certainly fits the genre.

I think that about wraps it up, for this post. If you have any questions or want updates on something specific, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Update | June 5, 2023

The last few months have been excruciating. Yes, writing has continued to be difficult but that’s only a fraction of what has been pummeling me as of late. Between the usual stresses of my life — work, classes, mourning, burnout… — and my unstable living situation, finding the time to sleep is rivaled only by finding the time (and energy) for self-care has been near impossible.

Over the last few weeks, I have felt stories boiling in my veins again — I even started an outline or three for new stories and posts — but every time I sit down to actually string words together, nothing comes out right. Some people have suggested re-evaluating my time management in an effort to help me work out the kinks, but honestly, that just doesn’t feel accurate. Work and classes alone equate roughly 80 hours per week…sometimes a bit more, as overtime can be unavoidable. So, where do nutrition, exercise, decompression, sleep, self-care, and writing fit? Nevermind maintaining healthy relationships…

As I sit here and type this out, it feels like I’m complaining. That is the last thing I want to be doing. I am simply exhausted. Every day is new battle, another chink in the armor that I have spent years fashioning and repairing. Waking up is more than a chore…at this point, it’s a nightmare playing on a loop. Each day I catch myself. For less than a moment I ask why I’ve been cursed to wake again, then I think of Baloo and feel guilty for ever considering death as an option.

Baloo, circa April 2023

I know I’m not alone in this resounding hopelessness that plagues every waking hour — which somehow makes it feel worse…

On an upswing, I have been keeping an A-average in my classes and I started a new (less stressful) job a few weeks ago. Both of which are seemingly on track, all things considered. If nothing else, at least that area of my existence has found some semblance of balance. My last job had me so overstimulated that I gained a few pounds from stress-eating and had my mental health spiraling back into burnout — which I had only just begun recovering from when I took the position. It was unsustainable, to say the very least. At least now I am in a healthier work environment…on a better stepping stone for my long-term goals.

I wish I had something more inspirational to convey — alas, all I currently carry is the weight of the world…a burden unfair to share here.

Until next time.

Update | February 25, 2023

So, I haven’t posted in a while — writing has been difficult… Words escape me and the brain fog that clouds my mind has been more than I can bear most days. That’s grief.

Less than an hour after I posted my last story, I lost my the love of my life. It wasn’t entirely unexpected — he was twelve years old and riddled with bone and skin cancer. However, it was out of nowhere for the day. All day long he was fine. He was walking around and giving me love…but when we went upstairs for bed, he plopped down like he always had…and then he wasn’t here anymore.

RIP Ace | 12/2010–01/2023

I still struggle to be in my room — when I close my eyes, I see him convulsing as he crossed the rainbow bridge… My heart aches and my soul feels lost. I tried to write several times since then, but my mind just won’t open up. Even now, tears roll down my cheeks as I type this. It’s been almost a month, I still struggle to believe he’s gone — some nights I wake up reaching for him and still cry when it hits me all over again. It never truly gets easier; we just get used to carrying the weight of it.

Ace wouldn’t have wanted to see me cry…and Baloo doesn’t much care for it either. So, instead, I’ll end on a more positive note. I started a new job today — Behaviour Health Associate II (Addictions Recovery Technician). It seems to be pretty alright, no major complaints…but it has been only a day, so only time will really tell. I have also been doing well in my classes, all things considered.

I’m sure Ace would be proud of me…he always was, even at my worst.

Ace, circa 2022

Update | January 20, 2023

I submitted a new short story to a publication today! I haven’t heard anything back of course, I’ve only just submitted the piece. However, I am hopeful. It’s a first, for me, so I wanted to memorialize it here.

Update | December 23, 2022

The year is ending, and I can’t say I’m sorry to see it go. The last nine months or so have been filled with misfortune and heartbreak, every glimpse of positivity has been short-lived and shrouded by a dark cloud of despair. One loss and failure after another. Keeping my chin up and air in my lungs has been a struggle to say the very least. My depression has been heavy, and hope has been less than memory; as if it never existed at all. Through the looming darkness of it all, my pups have kept me [somewhat] sane. As they say, the new year brings a shift in fortune and opens doors to new opportunities. So, I’ve decided to release the heaviness of it all. After all, I’ve lost everything else — why not lose a little more, right?

Baloo (8 months old), watching his first ever snowfall

For much of the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent time cutting energetic cords tethering me to that which does not serve me and releasing emotional leeches. Allowing myself the levity I had previously eschewed this whole year through, giving my inner self the space and solitude needed to find balance. The time away from the bustle of my classes has also been a relief, keeping busy and sharp with a puzzle and journaling.

Dream Within Dreams journal, available in the swag shop!

I spent Winter Solstice day (and night) reading The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, a truly charming and compassionate story that helped encourage the same within myself. On this, the third full day of my Yule celebrations and the last New Moon of the year, I have spent much of the day practicing intense self-care. My way of forgiving myself for the less-than-kind words I’ve spoken to myself this year, for chastising myself for all of the failures and losses that have been predominantly out of my control.

A sentimental puzzle, gifted by former client

Tonight will, again, be spent with my nose buried in the pages of a pleasure read and my body wrapped in layers of fleece and sherpa to battle the blistering cold. The freezing winds and flying snow ripping through the outside world offer a reset, thrusting me into the lunar phase of manifestation.

With the new year comes a new job, which will be nice. I will have more means to supply Cozy Corner Crochet and financially back Monst3r Travel, two ventures I still very much intend to see through to success. If you’ve been following along this bumpy road and want to help smooth it over a bit, all contributions are greatly appreciated!

Update | October 17, 2022

Remember that rush order I referenced in September? Well, I lost everything and then I was thrust back into the hollow pit which bore my traumas. This may be where my roots begin, but fuck it all if it isn’t hellacious. I truly loath this place — the ground is angry, tainted somehow. Great place to visit, though, so I intend to make use of my time here and track down some of the folklore and dark histories that linger amongst the trees.

Wanderlust Facilitator

Today marks the dawn of a new era [so to speak]. Today, I became a travel agent! Not exactly the direction I saw my life taking, but I can’t say I’m disappointed — not yet, anyway…

I’m still getting my bearings, so I haven’t much to speak on it yet. The perks sound pretty fantastic, considering my aspirations of turning this into a Dark Travel blog. Granted, I am willing and able to help book any and all travel needs — from staycations and honeymoons to culturally focused trips and business ventures. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the least bit excited about this new adventure I’ve found myself in, though as I get my feet wet and learn the ropes I will be catering to dark niche destinations — hauntings and iconic gravesites, urban legends and true crime scenes…excused to wander.

Become an Agent

I started an ASMR live stream

Cozy Corner is a homestyle-feel kind of ASMR, designed to induce calm relaxation and sleep. Through creating this safe space, I’ve found time for myself to relax, too.

Right now, I’m only streaming on TikTok daily [4a-8a, EST], however, this is subject to change as things evolve. As it should, because most people are not going to bed 4a–8a… I have also begun putting a YouTube Channel together [I’ll link it here when it’s ready].

Dog Sweater in progress | Crochet Contributions are always appreciated!

This is all so new

This is all new to me, and somehow exhilarating. “New lease on life” is awfully cliche, but it’s also akin to the newfound bullishness brewing beneath the surface. I’m excited about this new adventure, and I’m trying to maintain an optimistic perspective along the way.

In other news…

My book Aftermath of a Madman is now available on the Barnes&Nobel website!

Anyway, that’s the tea — Wish me luck!

Update | September 10th, 2022

Since April I have at least gotten things a bit more sorted on the blog front. I’ve gotten the ball rolling and a plan in place — circumstances are sort of stamping a rush order on it all, and I honestly have no idea how I am going to pull any of it together. I don’t know, maybe I won’t. At any rate, things are in motion. There is now merchandise available in my new shop, [domain name pending budget], so that’s a neat experience. All of the artwork and prose are mine [copyright applies]. New items are added frequently, so don’t stray too far, check back often!

I started this blog in December 2021, and then in April 2022, I deleted everything [including a bunch of follows] to start over. I wrote the above portion of this post and several short stories, which did help with my writer’s block. I started driving for rideshare [that’s a few stories for another time], and classes picked back up — leaving very little time or focus to write. Then, in August 2022, I dozed off while driving home after a long night driving rideshare and hit a sign. Although the damage is minimal, I was immediately locked out of my app pending repair — my insurance won’t cover it because I was logged into my driver app, though there I was alone in the car [and has since been cancelled].

This is what cost me my rideshare gig.

Add insult to injury, that was my only source of income from April until the accident — and it was barely keeping my head above water. Largely due to gas prices, rental fees plus gas only afford the rental car; but I digress.

I have submitted my resume around across sever fields I have skills that qualify for, even if not always verified experience. I have written and re-written it several times, sought professional guidance, and have two versions — a traditional resume and a curriculum vitae. The only bites I have gotten are for Home Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities programs — which isn’t an issue in and of itself, however, they won’t hire me.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned somewhere, at some point in recent weeks that I am non-vaccinated — non, not anti. Most people get a vaccine and they get a sore arm, maybe some achy joints. I get a vaccine and my immune system shuts down and I catch everything on the wind until the inoculant runs its course. This could be six weeks, it could be six months — it could be a year. And by catch everything, I mean just that. Fevers, chills, cold sweats, fatigue — I go nowhere and do nothing for weeks to months. If it were you, would you get vaccinated? I doubt it very much so. Every doctor I’ve spoken with about it suggests one of two options: tests not covered by insurance that I already cannot afford, or “just don’t get vaccinated” — guess which I choose. [What good is a job I can’t go to anyway because I’m sick from a flea fart six blocks over?]

Available Here

Regardless, the three dozen callbacks I have gotten from my Indeed and LinkedIn profiles have been as good as none at all — they have other candidates who are vaccinated.

So, instead of sitting here and twiddling my thumbs between class and disappointing email responses from prospective employers, I decided to dig in a bit on this blog. It’s not likely to prevent my car from being repossessed, but it’s not idle submission either. Of course, I’ve applied for unemployment and CalFresh — I’m still pending approval; the only rental assistance link anyone has given me takes me to the same expired page. The system is an absolute shitshow.

The most entertaining part about any of this is that I want to live in an RV; I want to make my way with my writing and art. I obviously have a fair way to go before I will see any kind of real profit — currently, it trickles in but it won’t keep the Wi-Fi on [or the phone, which I hardly notice is disconnected anymore] — so, naturally, I have every intention of holding off the inevitable for as long as possible; the forecast is not promising. To be sure, I will continue to tastefully slip affiliate links into my posts and trade sleep for an intense creative trance any day.

Therefrom, Coffee, Crime, and Controversy took shape as the slogan of my developing brand.

Buried Treasure Tee | Reference this article for context

Original Post | April 27, 2022

Introduction to Blogging | Revised

The Gulf of Mexico, 2017 | Photo Featured Here

I have been asked a time, or three, what I want to do with my life, and of course, it’s constantly changing — kind of.

We have all let go of a dream, if only to make it hand to mouth, promising to come back to it when we’ve been awarded the luxury of time to pursue it. Truth be told, I have spent a great deal of myself making this same assertion. I’ve promised myself I would make it happen for myself someday — as if today isn’t good enough to dig in and grind against the grain. Finding one mind-numbing job after the next, shining tarnished silver linings to make the best of mediocrity; feeling my soul crushing under the weight of the dark, looming reality that tomorrow may not actually exist

I wish I saw things differently. I don’t.

So, here I sit. Recently unemployed and struggling to find work in an oversaturated job market, searching for a job I don’t want so that I can continue to exist on the economic hamster wheel apathetically. The days have been long, and the result remains the same. It occurred to me recently that this is likely the most opportune time I will have to give my dream a fair shake — so, where do I begin?

Writing has been a long-time passion of mine; I dare say it’s been a safety net through life’s ups and downs. I’m told I have a knack for it. However, as we are our own worst critics, I have always struggled to embrace the possibility that I could hack it. Guess we shall see...

What I want, in my heart of hearts, is to write a dark travel blog—full of hauntings, true crime, urban legends, oddities… I want to visit taboo and abandoned places and write about not only my experiences and travels but also tell the unheard stories of the forgotten and the deranged. However, a venture such as that requires steady financial backing [and a fair bit of creative planning], which can only come from reaching and captivating a little more than above ground demographic. [Pun embraced.]

I know what you’re thinking. Oh, great, another one? Hear me out

I know occult subcultures have taken off in the mainstream, especially in the last decade. I have watched in horror as the absolute atrocities of some of my “favourite” serial killers have been glamorized — becoming trendy. It truly pains me to my very core to see the infatuation with Ted Bundy revived, as much as affronted to witness Jason Voorhees painted on a teal and leopard print background. However, there is only one side of the story that keeps being regurgitated — the criminal side. Yes, pop culture touches on the killer’s psychology, but it is rare to find a solid documentary that truly brings to life the person. It has become socially acceptable to demonize those who have committed atrocities while simultaneously being fascinated by their animalistic and predatorial theory of mind. Yes, many of the paranormal shows you see on tv are doctored for effect and ratings. Yes, kink culture is now embraced as exciting because E.L James brought BDSM into the light as an all-access circus; where nobody understands the rules, but everyone wants to be seen. What is often overlooked is the fact that Dom/sub relationships are built on trust, communication, and consent above all else; maybe, sometimes, it’s not your imagination playing tricks; and that monster you now seek to censure was once a scared and broken child.

I want to tell those stories.

I want to tell stories of the ostracized and the repressed, the forgotten and the condemned.

Of course, socially proscribed ramblings will be my focal point. As there is a fair bit of research involved in non-fiction endeavours as described, until I get that ball rolling, I will most definitely need filler content to keep you on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next big post. Thought pieces and Op-Eds will also come into play; perhaps a short story or two to help ward off writer’s block and exercise the imagination. I’m a horror/thriller/dark psychology fan [if you hadn’t pieced that together by now], so it’s a near certainty that readers will experience a sense of disgust — often, if I do my job correctly, of course.

So, there it is — a blip in your day, a glimpse into the mind of the Monst3r.

Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget to clap, share, and subscribe!

Stop by the blog swag shop and get your expressive merchandise!

Blog Shop

All contributions and constructive feedback are greatly appreciated!

[This blog includes both affiliate and non-affiliate links.]

Experience my book!

eBook

--

--