The Little Napoleons


Be forewarned friends, this is going to be nothing but a complete bitch session.

            I have been extremely pissed off for the last three months and it has nothing to do with my personal life. I have been angered to Banner Like proportions because my wife is being fucked over by a company she has given more than 18 years of her life to. I can’t name the company because she is still employed there and the last thing I ever want to do is make her life more difficult than I already have.

            If you have been reading my “A Cautious Descent” series of essays then you know I ave made her life hell on more than one occasion. Still not sure way she loves me.

            She has been in management at this unnamed fuckwad company for 15 years and she has done everything they have asked of her. No matter how stupid or mundane she has excelled at the tasks given to her and done it with a smile. Early in the spring she was offered a promotion at a different store on the company but her boss at her store convinced her to stay in her current position promising her that she would get a better position there by fall. Reluctantly she turned down the new position at the other store and stuck it out in a job she liked but didn’t pay as much on the promises of a woman she had thought was her friend for more than a decade.

            Then she got fucked over.

            In June it was announced that her position was being eliminated along with fifty other positions in the district. The company promised none of the managers in the eliminated positions would be let go or stepped down. I will give them credit, every manager who decided they wanted to stay were given lateral positions.

            Karen was moved to a new position in the first week of August.

            The position they put her in was one they had eliminated ten years ago. Karen is the only manager in the district who’d had the position and was still with the company. So while she kept her same level of pay and benefits she was basically kicked down to position she had escaped a decade ago. Karen nearly quit last time she had this job and the only reason she didn’t was because they dissolved the job in the past.

            But no, she should stick it out and things will be better, don’t take that promotion in the department you love.

            They are nothing but lying pieces of shit.

            But I have to admit, my wife is my hero. She has done many things over the years she hated like poison in order to provide for our family and done them all with a smile. She has encouraged me to stick with jobs I can handle and work on honing my craft because she believes in me even when I don’t. I am not the only one who loves her. Karen’s employees have always supported and loved her. She is honest and she is fair, her people know they can trust her to help and support them as long as they are honest with her. My wife is the best and all I want to do is drive to her employers and set fire to her boss’s car.

            But I have faith this will end up well for her. Karen does not allow the little dictators to break her. She will bend and twist but she will never break. It is because of her that I have developed the skills to keep my current job for the last four years, minus the four month “Vacation” I took in 2011.

            I have a bad history with authority figures. From teachers, to child minders, to parent, and too many employers I have been the guy who in the end will stand up and tell them that they are wrong. I have never won one of these fights and have lost many job opportunities because I am unable to allow the little bastards beat me, or at least think they beat me. This is not a virtue. I have allowed my pride and my mouth to fuck me over and over again.

            Karen has never done that.

            I have a comfortable position right now. Sometimes my job is irritating and often there are difficult physical tasks I need to accomplish. I have an immediate supervisor who I consider more of a friend than a boss and who shields her employees from the bullshit above. Because of this I will be blind to her New York blood (I kid because I love). I do most of my writing these days at the day job (at night) on my breaks and lunches.

            I assure you that I NEVER take extra time when no one is watching.

            I think the reason I can be comfortable at this job is because I don’t really consider it my job. The day job is the thing I do to bring in steady cash but the writing is my career. The only thing I want to do is write and the only thing I think about is writing. The next story or the next project is always hovering around the edges of my thoughts. But I have made a giant decision in regards to my career in the last few weeks.

            I have no plans of ever submitting my work to another publisher again.

            This is not because I am a great writer. To be perfectly honest I consider myself a middle of the road writer who would have been more at home in the pulp age.

            This is not because I am a great editor. I am a shit editor, period.

            This is not because I am a great publisher with all of the answers. I am a new publisher and I am still learning how to do this. But I love the publishing aspect, I love being my own boss.

            I am going it alone because it makes me happy. I hope every reader who reads my creations enjoys them. If they do not I am a little bummed but the truth is I have to be happy with what I create. The opinions of editors, publishers, and readers who the work was not necessarily intended for are secondary and I will not apologize for that.

            My wife has created a foundation and a framework for me to create within. If I did it half assed or second guessed myself because some jackass publisher doesn’t like my style and allowed myself to be changed it would be spitting in her face. I don’t think I am great but I do think that I am good and as long as I stay try to my voice and intent then the opinions of the critics and assholes are of little relevance.

            Thank you Karen, I love you.


     - Josh


Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books ( and Third Eye Games ( before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press ( I also work for Fat Goblin Games ( In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!