Announcing the Grand Amazon Giveaway!

A monument to sacrifice.

Update: That went rather faster than I had imagined.  The entire giveaway, which I had imagined to last about two weeks, was over in about eighteen hours.  Congratulations to the winners.  To everyone else, thank you for your participation.

So busy busy; I can’t seem to ever keep things to myself.

I’d like to announce another book giveaway, this time consisting of 20 Ebook editions of my collection Goliath Thunder: Sacrifice, similarly for sale in both paperback and Kindle editions from Amazon if you can’t keep your shirt on for fifteen days.  God knows I can’t.

The aforementioned giveaway is a kind of contest in which contestants have a certain chance of randomly winning an Ebook on what essentially constitutes a roll of the die.  You just have to follow this link and do as the page instructs.  There are no fees or entrance requirements to participate–aside from having an Amazon account of some manner or another.

Best of luck to you.

–Madsen

Sword of the Saints: Sinner Chapter Fourteen

It was a sight proud or obscene, depending upon your perspective, a vague combination of the horrific and majestic, festooned with a culture of golden scales, which might otherwise have been confused for the bronzed scale-mail from a different age, and appointed with a pair of threads of bright crimson mane contrasted warlike against his otherwise gentle countenance, as gentle as a beast may be.

“The matron’s personal bodyguard,” the cavalier quipped, as if running out of laughter.

“Gul Ladal, ‘One Among Many,’” he replied—it seemed—only in sibilants.

“You know, I’ve got to ask,” Arius interrupted, thumbing the base of his wooden sword, “you don’t look like the crocodiles of the field.”

But before he could finish the guardsman waved a hand of refusal, announcing simply, “Ask the Lady Rina when she wakes.  I’m sure she could give a more faithful elucidation than I.”

“Well tell me you’re good for something.”

From beneath the swaddling cloud of silks, narrowly obscuring a plated cuirass gleaming like molten tin, he produced a straight blade enveloped within a wooden sheath worn by the passage of time and bleached from its dark stain to nearly copper from long years waiting unused in the towering-high sun.

Slowly, as if expecting the staggering apperception of a confectionary edge, he withdrew the pale-gleaming blade, his half-perpetual frown having grown into an ear-to-ear smile, feeling the weight of his appointed implement with several half-hearted swipes cleaving the dry, open air.

“It won’t break?  It won’t fracture?  It won’t chip if I so much as draw it along bone?”

“The blade is old, but it was well manufactured.  Its name has been lost to the passage of time, but this was apparently the personal weapon of another paladin from before our adoption of a calendar, eons before my conception: its owner, so the story goes, preferring its elegant simplicity to the ostentation of other knights.”

“Then why give this me?”

“It’s a blade intended for the hand of a man, a blade that has killed before.  We don’t maintain an inventory of fighting implements intended for the dimensions of men.”

“I suppose it’s better than a stick.”

“A good way of looking at it.”

“So what’s the day’s fare?”

“Courtship.”

“Is she telling everyone already?”

“The whole house by now.  In a few hours, the whole harbor.  A day later, deep into the fields.  A few may be genuinely enthusiastic at the hearing, but the majority will be unhappy, disturbed.  The theocracy will be unwilling to share power with a male, which is what you’re demanding with your offer of marriage, and beyond that, you’re outside the species, outside the continent.  They’ll kill you.”

“That’s why you’re here, right?”

But the auburn bodyguard merely shook his head with a concluding sigh.  “I sincerely hope they trained you right.  A whole different plethora of factions will be after you and be secondarily after the Lady Rina.  I can tolerate the first, outsider, but my bonds prevent me from allowing the latter.”

But he merely smiled in retort, as if he knew something the man-reptile didn’t, fastening the sun-stained scabbard about his hips.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T Doesn’t Mean a Thing to Me

You came to the right neighborhood, friend.

A lot of updates this week for those who aren’t in the loop.  Where oh where oh where do I begin?

Facebook has slapped me with a shadowban.  I can’t be sure of the exact reason, but suffice it to say that they will not advertise the vast majority of content I post, and moreover, they throttle any organic impressions that my content does produce on its own.  This means that the Facebook platform is now next to useless for me.  We’re looking into alternatives–like Goodreads, for example–but it possesses some similar shortcomings alongside some interesting potential.  The lesson learned from all this is that I need to draw readers to this, my website.  It’s here that I can determine what constitutes acceptable language and whatever in the nine hells is suppose to be “provocative.”  To that end, my Facebook page will remain merely to function as a lighthouse to guide potential users to the subscribe menu on this website.  Goodreads I cannot indicate yet for certain.  There’s also Tumblr and Wattpad, but I know even less about those platforms.

Aside from all of this, I’ve been working on world building.  Some of you have already seen chapters of the serial entitled “Sword of the Saints: Sinner,” and there’s going to be a lot more of that.  There’s so much more that I’ve got another book in its final stages of production, more or less just waiting to be announced.  Exciting.  Moreover, I’m doing the groundwork for a sequel to the first Sword of the Saints serial.  At this point, it’s diagramming the arc of the story, which I consider to be part two of a trilogy, but I’ve had to stop a little short.  I realized I had not done near enough world building.  As such, I’ve been exploring new territory in my research as a writer.  I’ve been doing cartography and collecting notes on the world I’ve built.  I never realized how useful map-building would be.

This week has been bad for me.  I have several competing personal problems that I cannot resolve easily, and probably not fully until next week.  In addition, this Facebook disaster hit the fan.  You may not be aware, but Facebook was my predominant means of marketing.  To lose it so suddenly is catastrophic.  I put a year of my life [and money] into that whathaveyou that I can’t get back.  In addition to that, I’ve been on and off miserable with sickness for nearly two months.  It’s funny, I recently provided advice to aspiring writers that they stop to take care of their health occasionally.  I should follow my own advice.

Anyways, that’s all I should probably relate at this juncture.  Below are just some thoughts I was rattling off when I was too nervous to do any useful work.

I was told as a child–in fact it was something of a teacher’s mantra–that I was to respect.  Exactly the object of that respect was never exactly laid bare.  I was six.  I didn’t care.

When I grew older, I heard time and time again that respect is something earned.  It made rather more sense; let’s be honest.  Anything worth a damn has to be earned.  Anything given freely is probably a soft sell.  No such thing as a free lunch; you get the idea.

When I got a little older, a friend of mine reiterated the point, but he meant it somewhat differently.  I was always nice to everyone, and yet I never received any respect.  I didn’t understand how my friendly demeanor won me no friends at all, or at least no-one worth being called friends.

Someone was misleading me.

I began a little experiment, something I’d never done before; I hadn’t been a violent child.  When given the opportunity–a fool disrespecting me–I just beat the dumb shit out of him.  In spite of the angry stares I received for a few months from more than a few people, they gave me a lot of room.  The experiment was successful.  Respect is earned, but it is earned differently by different people.  People who aren’t worth a damn, will only respect you through fear.  People who are worth a damn, I would later find out, would respect your even keel and magnanimity, especially when shown suddenly to strangers in overwhelming quantities.

There’s a bit of the “better part of valor” within, but that’s not the whole of it.  I think someone said, “before you go running to the doctor for good boy pills, make sure you just aren’t surrounded by assholes.”

So “Why this now?”  Saw something that struck me, stayed with me.  Someone had drawn up a sign for some protest that said simply “Respect Existence,” and I thought in return “Why the hell would I do a thing like that?”  Think of all the things I abuse, exploit, and murder just to go on living.  God almighty, I keep cats around because the little sociopathic murderers never cease to amuse me.  Existing merely isn’t earning respect.  So unless your force defeats mine or your soul succors mine, it’s just not going to happen.  Make an argument.  Put the slogans away.  They’ve always been for children.  The number of people screaming a platitude doesn’t make it any more right.

So I Apologize in Advance

Apparently I’d been misled for years about the function of the membership… function on this website, thinking it simultaneously a means to post as it also a means of being subscribed to my content.  It’s only the former.  The latter is an entirely different function I’ve just recently added to the sidebar of the website.  You don’t actually have to be a user to be subscribed, which requires little more than an email address, but you do have to be a member to post.  Interestingly enough, you can be a member without actually being subscribed.

I thought I had a responsibility to inform any members that I’ve so far misled.  Simultaneously, if you’re not interested in receiving such emails–not interested in being a subscriber–consider this no imposition to subscribe and understand that I will send preciously few communications of this nature in the future, that I might not assail your probably already swelling inbox.

Thank you once again.  I’m sorry about the inconvenience.

The Recovered Logs of Midshipman Gregory Samuels Part 3

Midshipman’s Log Part 93

Gregory Samuels

September 11, 1252 CNS

I’ll skip the usual pleasantries.  I’m unhappy, more than a little unhappy, and that’s enough; you’ll find out why very shortly.  We were making for the XV2308B transit buoy when—surprise surprise—something showed up on the sensor suite difficult in appearance and producing—what they said—a regular monotonous series of what sounded like key-strokes.  At the time I was again taking inventory in the seventh starboard storage module when Lieutenant Whatley sounded on the PA firstly that potential salvage had been located and secondly that he intended to alter course to retrieve this for what he termed an “unbelievable salvage bonus.”  Space detritus—salvage bonus.  Man must be out of his mind.  I have this dark impression that Donnelly put him up to this, which was ultimately his decision, and I can’t imagine Matheson, who most assuredly would have been present, would have put up much in the way of protest.  That thing, whatever it is, they placed it in the largely empty starboard storage module number 23.  Things haven’t been the same since.

room_01 container

Anomalous Object’s Container in Cargo Bay 23

Call it the ecstasy of gold, or call it space madness if you want, but our happy little status quo isn’t what it used to be, is gone, and I can’t truly account for it.  Everyone wants their piece of the pie, same regardless of work or station, but this is beyond the pale.  When I was making my rounds, I actually caught O’Leary huddled up against the object’s container, whispering something—I couldn’t tell.  I kept myself quiet, surreptitiously entered, staying to the shadows; now, I can’t be sure, but I think I heard her mumbling a bed-time tune.  When I presented myself, she didn’t seem particularly ashamed, rose slowly from her ankles.  I, pretending to be congenial, asked her where she’s been the last week, whether or not it had been hell back in engineering.  She didn’t make any pretense of answer, but she just slowly walked to the exit and then down the hall.  I haven’t seen her since.

I have to say, the urge to cast this thing out the nearest airlock was overwhelming.  I can’t say why, but I had a loathsome impression of the thing, even within its obfuscating containment.  Taticius, who’d been a little standoffish since the thing arrived, said it sounded like a xylophone.  He didn’t mean that the electromagnetic signals as interpreted through the sensors had the impression of the instrument, but that it produced physical reverberations that seemed like a xylophone.post-it_02 xylophone  I wanted to see for myself, but whatever was in was silent, even though the container wasn’t sound-proof.  A little savagely, I gave the corner of the container a good kick.  Heaven and earth the thing must have weighed as much as a truck.  Lucky I didn’t split my toe in half.  But I didn’t hear anything.

As I was leaving, Matheson passed me in the corridor, walking straight ahead as if nothing had happened, but I didn’t believe him.  He wanted to take a look; just didn’t want to be caught doing it.  I have no doubt he doubled-back after he imagined me far enough away pursuing my duties.

post-it_03 gravityI began to realize that no-one was actually performing their duties—no-one aside from me.  It was only me taking inventory, performing routine maintenance—you get the idea.  I went looking for O’Leary to see if I could glean any more out of her bearing after our last encounter, but I couldn’t find her in the engine room.  Perturbed, I went up to the bridge to see if I might catch her on the PA, but there was no-one there, and the navigational computer seemed completely out of sorts, repeatedly calling for confirmation from the boatswain as to the validity of the updated navigational course.  I did what I could for her, not being a specialist.  Machine deserves a bit of love too.  I couldn’t find anyone, but I had a dark impression that I knew where they were.  I didn’t want to find out, didn’t want to learn.  I returned to my bunk and put the covers over my head pretending that the bogey man wouldn’t find me.

The Recovered Logs of Midshipman Gregory Samuels Part 2

Midshipman’s Log Part 92

Gregory Samuels

September 9, 1252 CNS

I can’t reiterate enough how lucky I was to get this job.  I can’t say it enough, and I’m not trying to kiss anyone’s ass.  But these opportunities don’t just swing around once in a lifetime; they don’t swing around at all.  I really need the money, and this job is a fair sight more meaningful than stacking shelves.  My head is clear, head is empty, which is no better or worse than any man could have asked for, circumstances being what they are.  Trying not to think about family.  Of course, they were the whole reason.

So, the monthly record of the mental wherewithal of my crewmates.

addendum_01 whatley history    Lieutenant Whatley, I think, has always thought very highly of himself despite being relegated to the command of military civilians.  He still carries around his sidearm, trying to spin it about like some hinterland sheriff.  I wonder if it even works anymore, how often he drops it.  Maybe he thinks we’ll be intimidated, but it’s not like the four of us have never seen a gun before; hell, we’ve all gone through at least superficial firearms training—on the off chance of hostile boarders.  Goes without saying I wouldn’t weep if he managed to plug himself with his own gun.  Not exactly much of a leader either, squinty eyed little shit with a chip on his shoulder.

Midshipman First Class Donnelly lost a huge quantity of cash to Midshipman Third Class Taticius in a recent illegal but nevertheless public night of gambling, and Donnelly’s been pulling rank on whomever he can ever since.  Under regular circumstances, he’d never see that money again, but it’s not like we’ve got a consumer economy here.  And Taticius isn’t the saving or the investing type, unless booze and whores can be considered a valid investment.  I figure he thinks by bullying the rest of us, we’ll somehow compel Taticius to return the allegedly misbegotten goods.  I don’t think he realizes how little the rest of us care, how used we are to this sort of treatment anyways.  I wouldn’t have joined the army, even as a civilian, if I expected sanity or sensibility.  All it takes is one barracks shit-head with a few bars on his shoulders.  Can’t resist saying I’m glad I’m just a civilian.  The enlisted are doomed.

I don’t see much of Machinist O’Leary, but I can’t say that I’m surprised, virtually sequestered in the ship’s allegedly radiation-proof buttocks.  And I know it’s a lot of work maintaining the propulsion of a ship of this size, and her hours by necessity revolve around the needs of the engine, but I confess that I’ve only seen her in her bunk about once or twice this whole journey.  I mean, she’s the right to liberate one of us from our duties to give her a hand, but she doesn’t.  It’s not like we haven’t been trained in at least routine maintenance and under the direction of a proper engineer.  Anyways, I haven’t even seen her in a whole week, not that I’m entirely disappointed.  She has something of a slanted countenance; it’s hard to explain.  Spent too long staring into pieces parts, I guess.

At last there’s the Boatswain, an old-world effete by the name of Matheson that you’d swear could spin shit into gold, the way he’s always getting on.  I don’t even know why he joined the army, what his plan was.  He seems to treat his duties as some sort of pleasure cruise.  Ship does most of the navigating anyways.  His only responsibility is to ensure the navigational data is correct, not to even tabulate the data himself.  Can you tell that I don’t like him?  He’s always fidgeting about, absentmindedly performing magic tricks with scattered coins.  And his demeanor—gods above—so insincere!  When he tells you to “Have a nice day,” he’s really telling you to get fucked.  I can only hope he effects an early retirement before he gets his head caved in by a more ferocious man than I.

Anyways, as regards current events, there isn’t much to be said.  The cargo is in fine condition, due to arrive on time at Wolf Tertius, after which I can take a few weeks vacation away from all this mess.  I deserve that much, at least.  Anyways, there’s no rot.  No spoilage.  No unexplained bludgeoning, and there’s been no report of theft.  Ship’s huge.  Never know if someone’s made ingress on board.  Even then, it’s not strangers you’ve got to worry about.

Ship’s running fine.  The Blind Hercules has met all her way-points on time; we might even manage the terminus ahead of schedule, not that anyone would care.  The food is awful, but what do you expect without anything resembling a full-time cook?  Most of the loggerheads around here wouldn’t know a good meal from having their shit pushed in, so they don’t make a fuss, and I’m simply too smart to let on.

The Recovered Logs of Midshipman Gregory Samuels Part 1: Introduction

Chief Warrant Officer Edward Michelsson

February the 27th 1253 CNS

ship_04 blind hercules

Blind Hercules En-Route from Autumn Breeze

My name is Edward Michelsson, Chief Warrant Officer assigned as supporting investigator to the loss—possible scuttling—of the heavy transport Blind Hercules bound for Wolf Tertius from home-port of Autumn Breeze bearing a cargo largely consisting of vacuum-sealed rations, machining parts, and commercial-grade prosthetics.  Of the five-man crew, only a single corpse was discovered, drifting within the armored fuselage of the artillery-class panoply Plume surreptitiously secreted aboard the Hercules for transport with the knowledge of one Gregory Samuels, the corpse discovered within her largely unscarred auspices.  Cause of death was asphyxiation with the consumption of the several days worth of available oxygen.  The remaining crew are missing, presumed dead, their bodies perhaps obliterated in the explosion that was evident in the skies of Lacrimae Dearum on Sunday morning January 7, 1253 CNS.  What is known—in the investigation of the debris, the corpse, and from the Plume’s library, is that the remaining crew failed to compose routine logs—any logs in actuality—of their status and activities altogether as of September 13th, 1252 CNS, and that the only written and video records we have of the incident are recorded on an assembly of official ship’s logs, various and increasingly maddeningly-scripted writings on various scraps of paper, and even scrawlings apparently completed with bloodied fingernails on the internal lining of the cockpit of the Plume. 

samuels post-it 01It’s not always easy to make a clear determination of the chronology of such varied records.  When the midshipman ceased production of routine logs aboard the ship’s systems, he simultaneously seems to have lost track of the date, which he seems to only improvise.

It will similarly be evident the midshipman’s decay of mental state in his presumed long period of isolation aboard the Hercules, and while it’s not evident whether this was merely the natural cause of such a long period of isolation or whether the midshipman had successfully concealed from scrutiny serious mental disease, these remain our only written evidence as to the events that obliterated the Hercules, and as such remain a central focus of the investigation.  The events indicated within may seem fabulous, farcical even, the product of a deranged mind, perhaps the mind of a man that had slain all his own compatriots, but they nevertheless deserve investigation.  If there’s even an iota of truth to the accusations indicated within there’s more than just repeat and further danger to shipping in the sector but a lethal danger the entire scope of human endeavors.  I pray whatever authority makes the ultimate determination on these matters takes this investigation into serious consideration in his deliberations.

The Adventure Continues

I used to be so nostalgic.

I’ve been trying to find a new home for my content and my followers beside, and I keep finding myself disappointed and disappointed.

So I might have mentioned that I have a page on Goodreads.  I never really knew what to do with the medium before as its user interface is frankly opaque, but forced by necessity, I’ve been exploring its community, its author assistance, and its advertising potential.  Let me just remind anyone that doesn’t know that Goodreads is probably the only major social media platform for people that specifically like to read.  Now, while Goodreads offers readers much better access to the writers they enjoy and their works, and also it does offer automated book giveaways and the like, it suffers similarly in at least one major component to Facebook.  Its advertising policies, while convenient enough to fit on a fucking page [FUCK YOU FACEBOOK], are also similarly vague.  For example one of the prohibitions actually reads “Not Allowed: Provocative.”  Sigh.  How am I supposed to take that?  Provocative in what context?  Do you mean sexually provocative?  Do you mean provocative in the sense that it does provoke, whether for better or worse, a reaction from the reader?  How am I supposed to just divine your intention?

There are all these prohibitions against “adult” and violent content, which I would be cool with if the medium didn’t also possess a little checkbox next to your book indicating whether or not it contains any explicit content.  Now, I don’t understand the point of this little indication if you won’t fucking advertise the product under any circumstances anyways.  Christ all fucking mighty, just for a lark, I’ve been trying to run an advertisement on the platform to see how it works, only to find the cheeky little cunt absolutely refuses to read my ISBN and display my book properly.  And don’t look for any help in the matter.  You won’t get it.

Basically, the wall I’m coming up against time and time again is artistic integrity, and I don’t mean that in the manner of some weak-wristed effete clutching protectively around his sculpture of a man felating himself.  What I mean is that I wrote something that I cared about, that I thought other people would enjoy, something that contained some swearing, or violence, or something that was a little bawdy.  These elements became essential to telling the story.  To remove any of them would be to literally compromise the work’s artistic integrity, as the story would completely collapse without them.  In the end, I can’t rely on some external website to allow me, as its client, to sell my work.  I can’t rely upon them in the slightest.  In the end, I have to draw people to my website, where I make the rules about what constitutes unacceptable profanity.  And if consenting adults want to read, that’s the whole point.  If you don’t like it, it isn’t like the whole internet isn’t replete with media catering specifically to your tastes.

I was taking Russian Literature in high school.  Just a sort of survey of famous Russian authors from Pushkin to Bulgakov.  The teacher–bless his ancient heart–would frequently talk about the influence of the censors on the development of Russian literature–how the author needed to be increasingly clever to slip his intent past the censor.  Then he would laugh and say those times are all over.  But that’s not true.  Censorship is cyclical.  There’s shit Monty Python did in the sixties and seventies that they could never get away with today.  It’s no different for writers.  I was laboring under the misapprehension that writing would generally go uncensored because children generally don’t read books rather than watch television or dick around on the internet.  I just can’t believe that my work, which I consider so innocent, continues to fall foul of the censor’s red ink.

Facebook’s shadow ban is real, by the way.  I’ve 95% percent confirmation now.

Censored by Facebook

This isn’t a new problem; it’s a recurring problem and one I’ve never been able to address with any congruity.  To put it simply, in the past, Facebook would prevent me from propagating what I’d written without anything resembling sufficient explanation.  Things now are somewhat worse.

I have my suspicions about the very nature of the censorship and how it occurred, but I sense that I should explain the way that Facebook works before I launch into what might seem an esoteric subject.

Facebook monetizes predominantly through two means: advertising and selling your personal information to advertisers.  I’ll discuss the latter at some other time.  The former is rather two-fold.  Various companies, usually conglomerates, use Facebook as a platform to advertise their products; it’s really nothing new and no different from advertising on television.  The latter of this is however two-fold, concerning entities on Facebook predominantly using Facebook to generate interest.  For example, I’m a writer and an entrepreneur.  I use Facebook as a way of generating both awareness and interest in the things I do [writing serials and writing books].  To that end, I have several Facebook pages representing myself the author and the two universes I’ve generated in my writing.

The mainstay of my marketing strategy has been to increase the number of users who are following my pages.  However, I have to pay to successfully do this.  While other groups that are more colloquial in nature can generate this slowly by the very nature of their inner workings, I basically have to pay to get anywhere.

The more followers I have, the more “organic” impressions I can generate when I post some piece of my work.  The problem I discovered after this is basically one of billboard space.  Facebook won’t necessarily, or even predominantly, show your content to your followers.  You have to pay further money to “boost” what you’ve posted so that your followers will have a much higher chance of actually seeing that content.

You can see that the advertising model of Facebook ensures that you’ll never stop paying them money.

Anyways, I had bitten that bullet long ago.  Problem is now that first, I cannot boost anything and secondly that Facebook is throttling all my organic impressions down to nothing.  I’ve been shadow-banned.  I can only conjecture at how it happened, because Facebook customer support is absolutely obtuse about the issue and only grows more obtuse with further investigation.  It’s possible that there’s an algorithm which automatically places pages with a certain amount of black marks into a shadow-ban folder, but I don’t think that’s actually the reason.  I think that Facebook boosted a post of mine previously about which later people complained.  Fearing to suffer further complaints, I was shadow-banned, basically ensuring that I could almost never post any content.

In the most recent situation, Facebook stipulated that the reason they wouldn’t post my content was that I was posting adult content.  For a minute, I wondered if my writing had become too saucy, although virtually any romance novels will push the boundaries of “good taste” far further that I ever intend, but then I realized that I’d been flagged for posting either pictures or video of pornographic content.

The only attached picture shows a sword lying in a flower bed.

I appealed the flagging, and the response became vague.  Rather than explain how my post was pornographic, they merely explained that it violated their advertising terms of service, and that I should read it some more.  That’s going to become something of a theme in this post.  So basically, what had happened is that they were caught out in their lie, and that rather than tell me the actual reason I’d be flagged, they just doubled down without any sufficient explanation, suggesting it had been flagged for violating the terms of service without indicating which section in the labyrinthine document I violated.  This puts the entire onus of interpreting their intentions upon me, and basically makes it impossible for me to determine what to fix before trying again.

This is by design.

I just want to mention, as an interjection, that if Facebook wanted me to remove all the romantic content from this work, all flirting or kissing altogether, that the entire work would collapse without this central pillar.  And I don’t mean that the work wouldn’t be titillating without titillation; I mean that the plot revolves around the central axis of this relationship formed between a foreign soldier and an overly indulged daughter of a high priestess.  Without that relationship driving the action, there is no actual story.  Would you have the Trojan War without the abduction of Helen?

Frustrated, I hopped on Google to look for any insight that could help me out, but the vast majority of the pages were similarly obtuse, saying to users suffering similar problems that they needed to read the terms of service.  Aggravated, I looked at the users proffering assistance and found them to be employees of Facebook.  Then I looked at the domain names of the websites I happened to be looking at merely to find them all simply help pages of Facebook.

Facebook’s advertising policies deliberately leave nebulous what they define as acceptable or unacceptable.  With profanity, for example, they never indicate what words are profane, how you would use them in a sentence to be profane–things like that.  You never know what Facebook is going to flag as profanity.  And let me tell you, I’ve advertised some profanity laden shit on Facebook only to find myself flagged for a character gesticulating “shit,” just once in some other chapter.

Facebook has two objectives with this kind of shit.  It allows them to craft the constituency and character of their website however they see fit–which is fine–and it also allows them to avoid litigation.  While I don’t think the latter specifically had to do with me, Facebook does have a history of bludgeoning certain users for their political beliefs.  Problem is that this falls into a legal not-so-gray area in which they can be sued with one amidst the several federal non-discrimination laws passed in the seventies fouling them for discrimination against clients and customers based upon political belief.  Whereas, if they had a strict rubric constituting their terms of service, they might fall foul of the law when they show preference for one political group at the expense of another, with a nebulous one, this is much harder to demonstrate in a court of law.

Anyways, unless Facebook bans me outright–which isn’t out of the cards at this point–I’m not going to stop using Facebook, but I won’t be able to post any more of my content there.  I’m going to need to shift my marketing strategy, and I don’t even know precisely how at this point.  I’ll probably be making stricter use of Goodreads, but that may be insufficient.  The problem with alternative social media in general is that it’s simply not geared for writing, writers, reading, or readers.  A number of platforms are designed specifically to demonstrate and share images; some do the same with videos; and others do similarly with audio.  I mean, there just aren’t as many readers as there used to be.  But for those who are into it, I’ll have to direct them to my mailing list.  I can’t be relying upon someone else’s incompetent algorithm and underpaid censor to determine what is suitable for publication.

Anyways, I suppose that’s it for the moment.  I don’t like to be seen as an object of pity, but I’m frankly fucking devastated.  This was the prime means of my marketing strategy, and it’s just be stolen from beneath me, and I don’t know what to do about it.  All I have are vague ideas.