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A Nightmare on 6th Street

It’s been a bad week Mad Hearts, it’s been a nightmare. Many of you have probably heard news or been vaguely aware that something was going on in Texas. I wanted to give a run down, so people could understand what the week was like.

  • Sunday Night (75 inside, 36 outside) – We dripped our faucets, made sure everyone was tucked in, turned off most everything but the heater. It was fine.
  • Monday Morning (1:57 am, 10 outside, 75 inside) – Our power goes out.
  • Monday Morning (6 am, 9 outside 50 inside) – We wake up to find all our power off and the temperature inside quickly plummeting, in part due to the dog door. We cover the dog in blankets, we cover our snake’s cage in blankets trying to keep some warmth in his cage. The three of us hunker down together with our Nintendo switch and phones and hope the power comes on soon.
  • Monday Morning (11 am 19 outside, 47 inside) – I realize that there is no way we’ll get our food delivery, so I go to clear off the windshield of my car and get to the store to buy some meat and veggies, both of which we are out. assuming of course that the power will come on sooner rather than later. I discover that my passenger side window has shattered from the cold.
  • Monday Afternoon (2pm 21 degrees outside 43 inside) – Cell towers are down. We cannot check for any updates, I have the sinking suspicion that cell towers are going down because Austin Energy doesn’t want to field more complaints and threats. We manage to get a call out, and Desiree’s father comes and gets us and brings us to San Marcos. We pack everything, including animals up, we put our snake in a pillowcase and under our jackets, desperately trying to keep him warm enough to stay alive. We shut off our home’s water while we are gone.
  • In San Marcos (Monday-Thursday afternoon) – there are rolling blackouts, the house we are in has very little insulation, and is heated by space heaters. The air is dry, the electricity is going out on a schedule of 3 hours off, 45 minutes on. The temperature in the house drops from 60 to 45 every time this happens. We don’t sleep. We are the lucky ones.
  • On Tuesday – the pipes burst in San Marcos.
  • All over the city, I see reports of people going 90+ hours without electricity, I see reports of people melting snow over a propane camping stove just to have something to drink and try to stay warm. I see hundreds of accidents.
  • But what does everyone in the public Eye think of this?
    • Austin Energy – Continues saying we should conserve power we don’t have, set thermostats that are off to a temperature we can’t see. They claim to be rotating power, but no one has any. Despite people literally dying of exposure in their own homes, Downtown Austin is well lit and empty businesses and car lots stand like bright beacons of lights. They have no projections of when power will come on.
    • Austin Water – They update regularly with the status of water pressure in Austin. Water went out because burst pipes led to a massive dip in reserves (minimum needed is 100m gallons, we had 20m). They share a chart detailing production vs usage vs storage. Pretty good so long as they don’t price gouge. We are on a Water Boil notice, so if you do have water, you have to boil it before using.
    • RICK PERRY – Says that Texans don’t mind living in this hell so long as we don’t get our energy grid regulated. by the federal government. (The same government he was the Secretary of Energy for)
    • TED CRUZ – Went to Cancun, leaving his dog and his constituents behind to die.
    • ERCOT – that organization we have other than federal regulation, approved massive and painful price gouging for power, leading some people to bills of over $6000, after a week of no power. (The yellow is where they raise the price by more than double)
  • Greg Abbott – Is opening an investigation into the price-gouging of ERCOT (good) blames the loss of power on Wind Turbines (bad), despite the fact that Canada, Finland, Sweden, and other extremely cold, below 0 reaching countries get their power from these sources. The issue isn’t the wind turbines, the issue is that the Texas Government decided to skimp on making sure they were up to snuff.
  • Mayor Adler – Who knows? He once gave a press conference on why we all needed to respect travel restrictions and pull together for Covid-19 from Baja Mexico. Haven’t heard anything important regarding this mess.
  • Coryn/Doggett – More promises to investigate the price-gouging. No promises to sack shitty Texas Government officials who allowed this to happen, due primarily to greed.
  • Steven King – Tweets about how people who vote red have to blame themselves for their shitty leadership, despite the fact that more Texans than New Yorkers voted for Biden, despite the fact that the majority of people affected by the storm live in big cities, which means despite the fact that Texas went red, the primary places suffering were very, very blue.

That last one hurt. Steven King is a member of our horror family, hell, he’s practically a patriarch. And it fucking sucks that he would be so cold and so cruel to those authors and artists’ living in a place simply because the place has been gerrymandered into a red leaning state.

And know this, Mad Hearts, a lot of us do live here. Madness Heart Press is based in Austin, Texas. Death’s Head Press is in Houston Texas, Susan Snyder, Lemons Clemons, John Baltisberger, Lucas Mangum, Wile E. Young, Gabino Iglesias, Wrath James White, Patrick C Harrison III, we all live in Texas. For those keeping track, that’s at least SIX authors that are on the ballot for Stoker or Splatterpunk awards. Death’s Head Press alone has 8 books on the ballot. So understand that when you bash the state, Texas is a home for horror.


If you donate any money to any of these organizations I will send you a e-book in any format you like of any book you like. Just send a picture of your donation receipt to, and tell me what book in which format.

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