Changing the Guard

From the very beginning of my career as an author, at least from the public side of that career, I have consistently released serialized content.  The first–the Gregory Samuels series and the second–The Sword of the Saints.  My intention, my thinking at the time, was to draw in viewers with free-to-the-public content of more than mere samples but whole series released chapter by chapter once or twice a week.  In truth, I don’t think it was a terrible idea–it had been a functional strategy historically–but my capacity to disseminate these narratives slipped mightily when Facebook slapped me with enough black marks to ensure I’d never be able to advertise upon their medium ever again.  The nearly nine hundred followers that observe my page, by and large, are never updated whenever I make a new post; I actually have to pay money to even hit a notable fraction of my viewers, money that Facebook won’t even allow me to pay anymore. In truth, I only get a measly amount of site traffic to my serials anymore.  It’s not worth the effort, which is a sad thing considering how much content I have remaining that will never now see the light of Read More …

Update: Week of April 24, 2017

I’ve currently got some strange eyes on a nearly finished manuscript.  It’s been taking rather long than I’d like, so I’ve spent the mean-time working on revising a seventy-seven chapter serial whose rough draft I finished a few months ago.  Needs a lot of work, but the potential is all there. Thoughts?  I don’t like Facebook.  I don’t like the structure of the platform; I don’t like their business practices [milking yours truly for every penny they can manage]; and I really don’t like the community either.  To be honest, I don’t like family being able to see what I’m up to, and that’s precisely the matter.  Facebook isn’t about intercommunication between inspired strangers on the internet.  It’s about sharing images and short videos while Facebook corporate rakes in the advertising revenue.  I’ve been hanging around Minds.com a fair bit more than Facebook, and already I prefer the company there.  I don’t even know anyone.  It’s glorious.  Facebook is a matrix of echo chambers.  You never get to hear anything either interesting or challenging.

Small Dog People

I used to think I was an animal person.  Later on, I thought I was a cat person.  I’ve always been fairly good in the handling and maintenance of animals; turns out, that doesn’t necessarily make you an animal person.  It just makes you patient and sensible. Full disclosure–I’ve got a pair of cats; I used to have a dog; and I used to be an avid equestrian, in spite of my very real fear of being kicked.  I like to think I understand animal behavior, particularly predator behavior, better than most, but I would never ever claim to possess professional proficiency, but I can identify abusive and otherwise toxic relationships and behavior when I see them. Some people, but particularly some women, develop stronger bonds with animal than with people–this includes family, even immediate family, even children.  Now these women could be preferring the company of horses, which is a totally different conversation I’ll produce another time, but many more of them shower affection upon small dogs.  I’m talking Boston Terriers, Chihuahuas, and Dachshunds and others.  These are small dogs no heavier than fifteen pounds which usually carry a host of different congenital disorders thanks to their unnaturally small Read More …

Sparta’s Overblown Reputation

Sparta, the hegemonic city-state that dominated the Peloponnese, threw back the Persians from Greece, and subdued the Athenian Delian League in the Peloponnesian war; Sparta so famed for the quality of her troops; Sparta so remembered for their utterly laconic way of life that included the exposure of allegedly unfit infants, the military training of children, and other shit I can’t think of at the moment–Sparta that was singular in the collective whole of the Hellenic peoples.  She’s overblown, and I’m not saying that I spoke here any lies, but aside from some issues of extent, the way that the truth has been represented is more than a little dishonest. Now, Sparta is a fairly interesting creature, governed by a counsel of wizened elders and a diarchy of kings.  Perhaps the most notable and most important feature is her culture is a result of her economic strategy.  The Spartans held possession of a huge body of slaves–themselves Greeks–that were collectively called “Helots.”  The Helots were state owned and did all the farming that provided the underpinning of the Spartan economy.  Moreover, the Helots were very numerous, as you might expect; agricultural labor required a much larger percentage of the general Read More …

Scarlett Johansson Will Never Be Menacing

People are up in arms about this new Ghost in the Shell movie–live action this time–and starring such actors as can be generally acquired by the ancient fucking reptiles that inhabit the fissile wastes of the West Coast.  Never mind that the remaining corpus of material has been either illustration or animation, working with the advantages and disadvantages therein; never mind that the rights to produce the movie were not by any means stolen from its legal possessor; what they’re mad most about is that the starring actress–and a good portion of the rest of the cast–are white and that therefore this film represents some sort of perverted whitewashing of the superiority of the yellow race.  But I couldn’t care less about that.  Never mind that the material for the Ghost in the Shell franchise is borrowed rather liberally from the science fiction authors of the Western World; never mind neither that this is generally how creative inspiration works; it doesn’t fucking matter.  If the creator of the licensed title believes that he can make a better product that will sell more tickets by using a certain cast, you’re damn right he will. Truth is, I’m up in arms as Read More …

Panic Attacks

Now, I know a little too much about this subject.  It was the reason I sought the assistance of a professional in the first place.  While I’ve gone for a long time without specifying whatever ailment I have suffered, this will unfortunately narrow the list more than a little uncomfortably, but it’s something I’m willing to risk considering the subject matter. Now, if you’ve never suffered a panic attack, never had a condition that provides them, never had reason to worry on this subject, much of what I’m saying will be difficult to comprehend.  There are a lot of unpleasant experiences one can endure in life, but there are few that produce such dread in the sufferer.  When I used to see depictions of mental disease in media, just for example, I could never really comprehend how anyone, even a loony, could behave with such reckless disregard; I thought their depiction was something purely imaginary meant to titillate crowds.  And while there’s a certain amount of that, there’s also a kernel of truth within.  Let’s say you’ve got a character suffering hallucinations and delusions, seeing people where there are none, who is nevertheless aware that he’s seeing what others apparently Read More …

The Foreseeable April

A boring span of time in all likelihood wasted in editing and editing and editing again my original book into something sufficiently different.  Already went through a draft that looked quite presentable, but I know better than to trust my initial instincts.  So we’re going to endure several iterations and outside eyes before we determine the manuscript completed.  After that, I’ll have to see, in likely several forms, how the finished product looks on Amazon.  After that, assuming I’m allowed, I should be able to put it up on preorder to be ready for sale on Black Friday. I’ve also got a fantasy project waiting in the wings.  Not sure I’ve discussed this very much before.  While there’s already running a “Sword of the Saints” serial, there’s also a “Sword of the Saints” novel featuring different characters doing different things but nevertheless in the same universe but at a different time.  It’s fantasy; it’s dark; and it’s occasionally very dark, starring protagonists for whom antihero would largely be an understatement or a complete misunderstanding.  Thing is, the novel was finished, but on a closer inspection, I’d like to provide a book 2 into this volume for a number of reasons. Read More …

Anonymous Conversation

I remember there was this pundit on television complaining, as they are wont, about the nature of anonymous conversation, and that it should be done away with.  And his argument was simple, if people can’t be held accountable for their speech, even if only socially, then they could conceivably say anything, no matter how dangerous or how benign.  I don’t think he thought through the wisdom of those words. We live in a country, unfortunately not a world, where the right to free speech is legally protected by the federal government.  It is not provided by the federal government, merely protected; it is provided, according to the various writings of the founders, by one’s creator, essentially imbued.  Unfortunately, this does not protect us from all consequences and recourse should we choose to exercise our free speech.  It is altogether too easy for a man to lose his living and endanger his family by speaking his mind, most particularly if he’s speaking the truth.  Essentially, there are some perspectives that are considered acceptable speech within broad society, and there are others that are not.  Speech that genuinely mimics the hogwash of the mainstream media is particularly prized while alternative perspectives–say for Read More …

Learning a Language

It can be daunting, right?  The last time you learned a language, it took you nearly twenty years to be fully competent and you’re still learning things about your native tongue, facets and subtleties that might be forbidden to others.  And so when you encounter someone bilingual, trilingual, or–good help you–a polyglot, it’s like being in a room with a living deity capable of feats to him simple and to you utterly unassailable.  Luckily, I’m here to relate that this really isn’t the case. When I was in grade school, I took French for many years, time in which I happened to build some approximation of a standard French pronunciation, but when I see full adults trying to learn a language, speaking it without an obviously foreign accent is often a skill utterly beyond them.  The further back you go, the more that can be intuitively adopted, the easier it is to get native fluency, but you have to remember that you spent twenty years getting your native fluency in your own tongue.  If someone insists to you that he has native proficiency in several languages, he either grew up speaking all of them in his household, he’s a genuine Read More …